12 June 2009

Playing with Magritte in the spirit of Breughel

Life can be very surrealistic from time to time, in fact more often than you might expect. But surrealistic and at the same time optimistic doesn’t happen very often. But it happened to me on Sunday (May 30th 2009) in Brussels.
Reneé Magritte’s universe was conjured up on the Place Royal… giant creatures and live installations from Magritte’s paintings, a ballerina dancing on top of a piano, girls with baskets full of apples, and men with bowler hats all on a beautiful sunny day and with great music. The magical, surreal universe of Reneé Magritte came to life. The Musée Magritte Museum opened that door for us.
My partner and I were among the hundreds of fortunate people in Brussels to visit the new Musée Magritte Museum, before the official opening, and for free! René Magritte is without doubt one of the most important Belgian artists and one of the most influential ‘mass culture’ surrealist painters. He was possibly more of a thinker and illustrator than a painter. As a surrealist and a socialist he hoped to change the world and the mentality of the crowd, but he didn’t. Instead he became the most popular artist of the XX century. At the end of his life he also became very wealthy; he painted what the buyers wanted. What I personally like in his work is not his technique (Dali was absolutely a better painter), not the paintings by themselves, but the irony behind his surrealism. I love Magritte’s imagination and his jokes with his viewers - “Hey folks - I am taking you in!”. In some sense he had the same credo the I have; I believe that we are here on this planet by accident and not for long, actually and that our existence is meaningless, and that we shouldn’t take ourselves so damn seriously – it seems to me that Magritte thought about his own universe in much the same way. In fact I discovered at the weekend that during the second world war Magritte went so far as to paint works in the style of Picasso, Braque, Max Ernst and others. Some of these "forgeries" were subsequently sold in an auction at the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels. He also forged money and he spent it successfully. (I like this man).

The great Surrealist René Magritte once said:
My painting is visible images which conceal nothing…. they evoke mystery and indeed when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question 'What does that mean'? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.

Inspirited by Magritte, my partner Jim and one of my favourite painters, Peter Breughel the Elder, here is a new work of mine
“Playing with Magritte in the spirit of Breughel”.

This work is available for sale as a quality print and/or poster on RedBubble

View words about the new Musée Magritte Museum. The multidisciplinary collection contains more than 200 works consisting in oils on canvas, gouaches, drawings, sculptures and painted objects but also in advertising posters, music scores and vintage. Official opening of the museum was yesterday, June, 2nd 2009. The museum is situated close to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, on Place Royale 1.

No comments: