Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Those treacherous paintings.

The 1929 painting "La trahison des images" by surrealist artist Rene Magritte is a famous example of fine art demanding its viewer to think about what they are seeing.

(for those not at all fluent in french, this translates to "this is not a pipe")

At first the subtitle is absurd. Of course it's a pipe. It looks just like a pipe. The fact is that this isn't a pipe at all, it is oil paint on canvas (I think) The caption demands that the viewer think about the painting, and then all other paintings or images with the same critical lens.

This painting does a dance with surrealism (dreamlike imagery with heavy freudian influence) early post modernism (art that is self aware of its medium and message) and skeptical thinking (demanding higher levels of questioning and inquiry).

Back to work.

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