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Miralda Tri-Uni-Corn, 1981 the float. According to secular medieval legend, the unicorn, a symbol of virtue and chastity, could be captured only by a virgin with a mirror. In this case, the queen gazed at the Tri-Uni-Corn horns, associated with virility and magic power, though the rearview mirror.
On the occasion of the American Royal Farmers’ Association Annual Fair (a.k.a. American Royal), the culmination of a series of national celebrations, Miralda mobilized thousands of Kansas City citizens from a broad social spectrum to generate this multi-part urban project that pivoted on agricultural icons and food culture. His downtown parade/performance led to an installation at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art as well as a participatory presentation at the Board of Trade. Appropriating Kansas City’s existing institutions and festivals, Miralda’s artwork was perceived as a natural extension of the area’s cultural vitality. Its citizens still hail him as a local hero. The artwork’s complexity and integration into the city’s fiber required two years of preliminary contacts and planning, plus two more years of preparation in situ. Wheat & Steak was an early public intervention in the context of Miralda’s oeuvre. It was the first time he had worked in many modes that would become representative of his work: it was an urban artwork that unfolded over time, as well as an exploration of the historical exchange of foods between the New and Old Worlds. This emblematic, fibreglass float consisted of a steer, a hog and a lamb, each with one corn-encrusted horn, arranged in a pyramidal stack. The “skinned” figures were painted with musculature and gold text labelling cuts of meat. They stood on a sacrificial table, which referred to the Harvest Supper, a traditional feast for which an animal was killed and eaten in the fields in celebration on the harvest. The American Royal Fair Queen rode in a gold convertible Cadillac ahead of
Note: Amy Rosenblum text extracted from: Miralda. De gustibus non disputandum. Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; La Fábrica, 2010.
Collection sheet of Museo Reina Sofía