Friday, November 21, 2008

Magritte and his Legacy

Today's Google Logo

Golconda (1953)

The Son of Man (1964)

The Empire of Light II (1950)

To celebrate what would have been Rene Magritte's 110th birthday, today Google's logo mimics three famous Magritte paintings; most directly Golconda (1953), The Son of Man (1964) and likely, a piece from the The Empire of Light series (1950s).  

Magritte became a leading member of the Surrealist movement after leaving his native Belgium for Paris in 1927, where he then spent 3 years.  The illusionistic and dream-like quality of his paintings (and the present Google logo) is characteristic of a more "representational" style of surrealism rather than the "automatic" style seen in the works of the leader of the Surrealist movement, Joan Miro, and the like.  His works were often witty and amusing, playing with ambiguity and visual truth in painting.  Magritte states, "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."

It made my day today to see the "Magritte-ified" Google logo.  It is the little things in life that spark the curiosity of the young and old to discover more about art and its amazing history.  I hope that I was not the only one who searched and read all about Magritte's life and work after my first Google search of the morning.  I stopped to take in a small bit of culture during an otherwise mundane morning and feel that much more cultured for it.  I promise you will too.  



littlejoke said...

My own Magritte commentary didn't appear on until November 25 because that was when the story about the L.A. public artist was referred to by Jessica Blankenship on a listserv. I had no idea.

Emily Amy Gallery's current show has a nice writeup by Joyce Youmans on, I hope in part because of my references to it in my own blog posts.

Emily Amy Gallery said...

It was a great writeup. I am thrilled with what Burn Away is doing and I am more than pleased to be included. It was good to see you at Whitney's show...great work.