March 17th, 2011

Fucked up

30 day challenge number 25 - Someone who fascinates you, and why

Rene Magritte fascinates me and not just because he's one of the few famous Belgians to have existed. I like art but I frequently don't like artists, modern art (apart from Pop Art) often leaves me cold but I find Magritte's work endlessly fascinating. Despite the surrealism of the pieces they have an illustrative quality to them and an understated 'cool' that's hard to quantify. They're more like plates from a modern Alice in Wonderland or something similar and so I find I appreciate his work more than most artists I see in galleries.

Magritte's life and ways are also interesting and somewhat tragic. His mother committed suicide which, apocryphally, may have had something to do with his fascination for covered faces as she was drowned and, when she was retrieved her face was supposedly covered by cloth - a much repeated image in Magritte's work.

One particular thing I like about Magritte is that he would treat his art like a job. Getting up, putting on a suit and going to his easel for a 'work day' and then knocking off, like a regular working guy. Something which seems strangely admirable in an artist.