Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Quickies: The Wheel Turns Round...

     Does anyone else here remember Rene Magritte? His artwork is generally considered surrealistic, but some of it points toward an under-layer of unaddressed realism that observers tend to overlook. Perhaps this is the most famous example:

     Observers seldom twigged to the reality buried within that seeming contradiction. Magritte had to explain it:

     Magritte's work frequently displays a collection of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things. The use of objects as other than what they seem is typified in his painting, 'The Treachery of Images' (La trahison des images), which shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" ("This is not a pipe"), which seems a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, it is an image of a pipe. It does not "satisfy emotionally"—when Magritte was once asked about this image, he replied that of course it was not a pipe, just try to fill it with tobacco.

     Magritte died in 1967. But the wheel of art and fancy has turned, as wheels will do. Apparently we have a budding Magritte somewhere among us, though his medium isn’t paint on a canvas:

     (Shamelessly stolen from 90 Miles From Tyranny.)

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