Magritte, the icon of surrealism
Surrealism is a style of art that defies easy definition—there are many interpretations and no single definition. However, there are some commonalities between most surrealist works: elements or themes of the unexpected, dreams, mythic or fantasy settings and objects with hidden meanings. Take Dali and Magritte, two artists who were masters at creating surreal works that still look fresh today.
Magritte is known for his visual puns.
You’ll find plenty of examples of visual puns in Magritte’s works. For example, he often painted everyday objects with the bedclothes pulled back or the door ajar, to make them appear unfamiliar and strange. Another common theme was that of two people looking at each other: one person is always an artist and one person is always a viewer. Magritte liked to play with words and images, so this can be seen as a kind of wordplay on the idea that artists create new worlds for us all by creating artworks. He also liked to play with our expectations—for example, by making a canvas appear like it was made from wallpaper (on which you might expect to see flowers) or by hanging up paintings upside down (which would be an indication that something had been hung up incorrectly). Magritte’s works often have a sense of humor about them; he liked making fun of the art world and its pretensions as much as he loved joking around with his own work.
Magritte's paintings are rarely flat.
Magritte's paintings are rarely flat. His images are often a distortion of reality, incorporating elements from different points of view or different time periods. This can be subtle, as in The Time Transfixed (1938), or much more obvious. In The Lovers (1928), for example, the man and woman are shown kissing from two different angles at once; in another painting featuring a couple—Le Modèle rouge (1927)—the lovers appear from above as well as below; and in Le Jeu de “Paume” (1928), there is an almost complete disconnection between the foreground and background figures. Not only do Magritte’s paintings contain these unusual viewpoints, but they also contain objects that seem to float above their support mediums: eel tanks hang seemingly unsupported on walls in The Return of Reason; curtains drape across bodies with no visible means for support in Pierre et Jean; even people themselves may be seen floating through space without any apparent connection to anything else around them.
Magritte liked painting women.
Magritte was a fan of the female body. This is evident in his paintings. He liked to paint women with surrealist objects, like the one below where he paints a woman's face on top of an egg. The painting is called "The Human Condition." This idea was inspired by a poem by Paul Eluard, who wrote about how people are trapped inside themselves and can't escape their own minds or bodies—even though we're all human beings! Magritte wanted to challenge that idea in his work, so he painted this egg-headed woman with her hair covering her eyes. It looks like she's trying not to look at something unpleasant but she doesn't know what it is because she has no eyes! She doesn't even have skin! How could anyone see anything without eyes?
He was a fan of ordinary objects as well as surrealist situations.
Magritte was a fan of ordinary objects as well as surrealist situations. His work is more difficult to understand than Dali's, but there's so much to learn about it! Magritte's paintings often feature ordinary objects in strange settings. For example, he once painted a picture of an apple on top of a bookcase—which seems strange until you realize that the bookcase is actually part of another painting!
You might think this would be confusing for the viewer, but Magritte was able to achieve an amazing effect through his use of perspective and scale. You'll want to check out some more examples from his body of work; they're definitely worth your time!
Surrealism is a tough style to master, but there is so much to learn about it.
Surrealism is a tough style to master, but there is so much to learn about it. Magritte was a Belgian painter who is best known for his surrealist artwork. Magritte liked painting women, which was something that he did very well. Dali also painted women—he painted them often and in many different ways. This piece shows us one of his more famous paintings of ladies, although it doesn't look like any of the other ones we've seen before! What do you think happened here?
Surrealist art is a unique style that challenges the viewer with its unusual imagery. But it can also be fun, as well as thought-provoking and emotional. Surrealist artists like Magritte was able to use his skills to create works that reflect his own personal experiences on canvas, but he also influenced many other artists who followed in his footsteps.