Monday, November 1, 2010

Still Life Portraiture

"Perspective: Manet's Balcony II", 1950
Rene Magritte

This 50's painting by surrealist artist Rene Magritte is very intriguing because though it technically reads as a still life it is very much a portraiture. Here Magritte makes these hard hollow caskets seem as though they have soul. They feel very human by the way he contours each line and the shading he gives to objects. It is very interesting how he obscures the line between what is considered an object and a figural piece. This overlapping of meanings is very powerful because it makes you wonder what kind of family is this? Why are they entombed? Though they are grouped together and read as a whole they each seem a world apart. You definitely get the sense of devastating alienation and loss looking at family--what it is I am not quite sure as each casket holds their own dark secrets.

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