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Rene Magritte Revisited.

Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. ₁

Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. ₁

These words, uttered by the famous Belgian surrealist artist René François Ghislain Magritte (René pour les amis …😉), actually carry much more truth than you’d think at first. Inhale deeply through your belly; exhale slowly; Do this a few times and reread these words. Do you see it now? [The Treachery of Images]

The Treachery of Images

The hidden meanings of words and images are everywhere. It’ simply a matter of keeping one’s mind open for the hidden and the invisible… because, are they truly hidden? Are they truly invisible? Or are they just not there?

Magritte was born in the town of Lessines in the Hainaut province of Belgium on November 21, 1898. (This makes him a good old Sagittarian … ….) Magritte was –no is—best known for his witty, surreal, often thought-provoking paintings. Depicting ordinary things unconventionally was his way of challenging people’s preconditioned perceptions of the current world and made it his genuine signature. He influenced and continues to influence Pop-Art as well as conceptual and minimalist art. There was a story going around about Magritte being present when his mother’s body was found in the river Sambre and that the image of his mother’s body with her face covered by her dress would have been the source of many of Magritte’s paintings in the years 1927-1928… paintings with faces obscured by cloth …[Les Amants].

Research has discredited this fact though this death may have had a significant effect on him and the macabre materialized in much of his artwork later in life. [The Menaced Assassin]₂ or [Perspective: Madame Récamier by David]₃

Perspective: Madame Récamier by David - Courtesy of MOMA

In 1922 he married Georgette Berger and during this time chose to support his wife and himself by designing wallpaper and posters. He continued to develop his art and ultimately chose Surrealism as his preferred method of expression. Giorgio de Chirico’s painting The Song Of Love, depicting various objects such as a sculpted greek head, a rubber glove, set in a cold, minimalistic architectural setting gave Magritte the final push, and in 1925 he completed what is considered to be his first major surrealist work [Le Jockey Perdu].

His first solo exhibit was widely considered a flop due to severe criticism from the mainstream art movement at the time. He didn’t care and decided to move to Paris where he started associating with other [noted] surrealists such as Andre Breton and Paul Eluard.

Two of Magritte's favored themes were the "window painting" and the "painting within a painting. “The Human Condition” is one of Magritte's earliest tryouts on the subject in which he combines both.

In 1930, Magritte decided to move back to Brussels. He would reside there for the rest of his life. His work continued to be of surrealist substance, but during the great war, certain impressionist and other influences can be noticed. [Mural design for Maison Norine 1931],

[The Fair Captive (La Belle Captive)- 1931]. It did not last long though before he went back to his first love … Surrealism. He continued to paint throughout the 1950s and 1960s, his work becoming increasingly influential as time went on.

Magritte died in Brussels on August 15,1967 of pancreatic cancer. He was 68 years old.

Merriam-Webster defines Surrealism as the principles, ideals, or practice of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in art, literature, film, or theater using unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations. It well matches my frame and state of mind most of the time that is. Fragmented, yet whole. Dark, yet colorful. At least that is how I understand and see it. “If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.” ₁ (Rene Magritte) it is also true that “We must not fear daylight just because it almost always illuminates a miserable world.” ₁

Have a fantastic end of week/weekend. Until next time. Namaste!

₁Read more at:

Giorgio de Chirico :

And just for fun, this excellent article in the New Yorker:

Or to understand who Magritte really was:

La condition humaine - National Gallery of Art.

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#Belgium #Brussels #Lessines


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