I really dig this The Portrait painting by Rene Magritte. I love Magritte; he’s one of the only surrealists who I can totally get on board with. Surrealism, is by nature weird. I don’t really want to look at it. It makes me uncomfortable, which is the point.
I feel Magritte can still get in my head, perhaps making me uncomfortable, but with a clear composition. He preferred to use ordinary looking objects in a different context, using juxtaposition, rather than distortion like Dali and Ernst. Magritte’s art makes me want to look…and learn more.
For this one, it is a normal table setting, only the eye of the ham is staring at us. [Though I have to say, at first I thought it was a pancake]. It was done in 1935. A modern interpretation could be a vegetarian one. But according to the MoMA, Magritte’s use of perspective makes the shock of the challenging actively seeing eye even more powerful. As in many of Magritte’s other pictures he is mocking the viewer and attempting, by an almost instant affect, to change the way the viewer sees everyday objects including those in this pictue of a small meal so familiar it has become a ritual.
You can see The Portrait at the MoMA.
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