Joan Miró, a Spanish surrealist artist who became an iconic figure in the world of art, starved himself for his art.

Miró managed to create a wave of self-defining and deep paintings by simply starving himself during his life in Paris, France. One time Miró, had a friend come for dinner, but because he had very little money, he could only serve him radishes.

The painful hunger caused him to hallucinate and see things such as shapes and movements, which in the end he translated it to his art. He went on to say “Hunger was a great source of hallucinations. I would sit for long periods looking at the bare walls of my studio trying to capture these shapes on paper or burlap.”

Talking about starving for your art.

Yet, all of this was worth it. Miró’s hardship during hunger had caused him to make art that pushed boundaries not just in surrealism but in the wider art world. Unlike other artists, he didn’t use drugs or substances that would give him an easy way to the hallucinations but instead chose a natural path to help push the boundaries.

Miró was a spiritual person, a monk-like figure in some ways, he preserved himself and his connection to nature. Once upon a time, in a letter, he wrote: “During my off-hours, I lead a primitive existence. More or less naked, I do exercises, run like a madman in the sun, and jump rope. In the evening, after I’ve finished my work, I swim in the sea. I am convinced that a strong and healthy oeuvre requires a healthy, vigorous body, I see no one here, and my chastity is absolute”