13 03 2011

I love Magritte. How could you not? He’s funny. And he’s Belgian. (I lived there for four years. My son was born there. My wife is Belgian. Outside of the weather, its a wonderful place on the planet.) Magritte has affected many artists. But it is his love by the public that is so interesting. No one asks if his work is art. They just smile.

I created one piece with Magritte in mind.

This is an excerpt from a Wikipedia article on Magritte.

Magritte’s work frequently displays a juxtaposition of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things. The representational 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 once was asked about this image, he replied that of course it was not a pipe, just try to fill it with tobacco.


Max Ernst

13 03 2011

You can’t help running into Max Ernst’s work. For one thing, he has a fabulous name for a surrealist. And his work is always fascinating, fun, and unexpected.

I quote from the history of collage.

Max Ernst discovered the process of surreal collage in 1919, using Victorian engravings (many originally made from photographs), … “I was struck by the obsession which held under my gaze the pages of an illustrated catalogue … It was enough at that time to embellish these catalogue pages, in painting or drawing, and thereby … transformed into revealing dramas my most secret desires from what had been before only some banal pages of advertising.” Ernst credited Max Klinger (1857-1920), a Symbolist painter, as the inspiration for his collages. Many of Ernst’s collages might better be termed composites – because many strive for a seamless consistency.