A surrealist painter from Belgium, Rene Magritte created his first painting, The Lost Jockey, in 1926 and held his first exhibition in 1927. Dejected over the failure of this exhibition, he moved to Paris and befriended Andre Breton. He went on to become an active member of the Parisian surrealist group which included such talents as Man Ray, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, and Marcel Duchamp, to name a few.
What I love most about Magritte”s work is his ability to take everyday objects and put them into delightfully strange and new contexts, thereby adjusting your preception of these objects. He created paradoxes in witty and amusing ways.
René Magritte described his paintings by saying,
- 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.
- As a group, the Surrealists initiated the most radically liberating critique of reason of the century. Their investigations were conducted through art and polemic, manifesto and demonstration, love and politics. But most remarkably, it was through games, play, techniques of surprise and methodoligies of the fantastic that they subverted academic modes of enquiry, and undermined the complacent certainties of the reasonable and respectable. Their games and strategies provided keys to unlock the door to the unconscious and to release the visual and verbal poetry of collective creativity.