Sunday, March 17, 2019

"See and Be Seen"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

There is a dual result in Rene Magritte's The False Mirror.  The viewer looks through the iris of this large eye, passed the black pupil and into a blue sky with floating clouds - and yet, this eye is looking at the viewer.  How totally surreal.

Part of me, as an artist, generally loves surrealism in art for its representation/realistic quality and the other part of me feels like I'm always asked 'the meaning'.  Frankly, that annoys me.  I'm more inclined to relish the vision in front of me that a painter found interesting or particularly beautiful and had to paint it.  Magritte thought the opposite.  Surrealism as an art form was what he most enjoyed.

Rene Magritte was in his 50's before he realized fame and recognition.  Born in Belgium at the end of the 19th century, not a whole lot is known about his youth.  Magritte worked in an advertising agency for a time then involved himself in several exhibitions with like-minded artists such as Salvador Dali, Juan Miro, Picasso - all stunning the art world with Cubism and Surrealism.  When his gallery closed, he returned to advertising for a stable income - the influence is more than evident in his paintings, notably This Is Not a Pipe which could easily have been an ad for a tobacco shop.

The False Mirror hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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