View Full Version : Discuss a painting (what?) by René Magritte

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03-09-2008, 04:03 PM
P.S. Before somebody points out that dadaism preceded surrealism, I'll confess that at my [low] level of art categorization, they are the same in spirit.

03-10-2008, 01:16 AM
Indeed it's not as clear as Kertesz.

I don't think I've ever seen any of HCB's paintings; this makes me curious.
HCB was a self described surrealist; he was referencing his photography.

Ray Heath
03-10-2008, 04:15 AM
HCB was a self described surrealist; he was referencing his photography.

g'day all

Don, i'm currently reading a joint bio of Roland Penrose and Lee Miller, Miller is described as a surrealist both for her early work and much of her photojournalism, i think i need to reassess what this term means

sun of sand
03-10-2008, 09:20 AM
I like Magritte.
He doesn't try to overwhelm you with a plethora of elements like Dali
but he sticks to one simple idea that he presents clearly.
He follows the aethetics of naturalistic painting with one major element
out of the ordinary, enough to transcend to the realm of surrealism.

Sun of Sand's argument is largely incomprehensible to me because of his
confusing command of the language. I think his point is that its ok
not to like a work of art, one that to him is not of any interest. He seems
to find that the central idea of the painting, "to disturb", is unsuccessful
because of its lack of originality.
Surrealism was a response to the infatuation of its time with "logic" and
a matter-of-fact attitude and their playful but serious play with the instinct,
the irrational and the subconscious.
One is very much excused for not finding their work original or imaginative
or artistically important but I believe that is very much because of the
influence they had on the artworld and culture.

Maybe we could also discuss surrealist photography?


"He seems to find that the central idea of the painting, "to disturb", is unsuccessful because of its lack of originality."
No. In fact, I don't even agree with that thinking. How can something not be what it is simply because it's been done before? Makes no sense at all.
Frankly, if you cant comprehend what it is I'm saying I'm not sure you should be writing for the world what it is you think I could be saying as it only makes me have to work even harder
I not only have to clarify myself but erase what you've written from the minds of people that have read your misconceptions
You should ask me whether or not what you're thinking is correct. Not publish those thoughts as "possible" fact cause people on average do not note the "possible" aspect and just take it as truth

sun of sand
03-10-2008, 09:37 AM
I do have a question for art historians: how much colour drift might one expect from the paints he used?

More for restorers, I'd think. I doubt any "color drift" This was only 50-80 years ago. Paintings can be cleaned up to like-new condition much older than that. How much color drift has there been in cave paintings thousands of years old? I doubt much. THeir stuff was pure

sun of sand
03-10-2008, 09:53 AM
It takes two to tango. Aren't you the one trying to belittle me as an artsy-fartsy who is bowled over by complex theories?

I responded to your thread with my opinions
After which you told me to get a grip
Apparently because I do not love this painting to the same degree you profess to
It's kind of odd to talk about a painting in a photo site but it's a free world so wtf, I bit.
I guess if I appreciate photography I have to appreciate this painting because it kindasorta relates? OR were you really just trying to show off your expertise at picking these kinda/sorta things out? I don't know. I don't honestly see what there is to talk about regarding the paintings photographic qualities outside of the kinda/sortas you had already pointed out
"so let me get this straight"
Come on ..that's telling me that I was wrong and need to prove to you my point. Why don't you prove to me why it is that I'm wrong? You have the burden if you ask me

03-10-2008, 02:15 PM
Cheers to the original poster for bringing in painting -- too bad it went that way.

I've never been fond of Magritte. Haven't seen a show devoted to him, I would of course given the opportunity.

Currently reading "A life of Picasso, the triumphant years, 1917 - 1932" by John Richardson. This is the third volume in
a series. For someone truly interested in pictures and their making, it seems to me there can be nothing more essential
to read. The book is full of photographs, of course, and it puts photography where it belongs: useful, even interesting
documentary role, perhaps reaching one of the lower artistic planes on occasion, but a flickering candle compared to
the raging sun of painting. Interestingly, and this I didn't know, Picasso used photography in preparation for some of
his paintings. In 1918, he had a professional photographer named Emile Délétang photograph his first wife Olga and used
the photo very closely as a reference when painting her portrait. I think he saw photography as a very efficient drawing
tool. It would be very interesting to know why he wanted the photograph. I assume he would have made plenty of drawings
as studies. He could draw "more correctly" than any camera lens. Knowing why might be the key to understanding the most valuable
thing about photography. Picasso had the greatest eye in art.

jd callow
03-10-2008, 03:09 PM
lots of absolutes in that post. I'd say that painting may have a far wider capacity (both good and bad) than photography, but i don't see how photography at its artistic/expressive/creative best is any less than any other medium -- dung sculpture in the right hands can be the highest form of art. It isn't the medium, but the artist.

As for Picasso and the idea that he or anyone is the greatest
From my vantage point and in the same arena as Picasso at his best, I'd take the original: Max Beckmann every time.

Michel Hardy-Vallée
03-10-2008, 03:48 PM
Concerning the relevance of painting to a photography site... I think I made my point in my original and subsequent post that it is possible to make a link between this (Magritte's) painting and photography on the basis of their use of light.

I don't think any art has ever developed in isolation, and photography has had a deep, and reciprocal relationship with painting since the 19th century. It's hard to understand painting during the last two centuries without some awareness of what was going on in photography, and vice versa.

I'm not trying to discuss the best brush, or what pigments for autumn skies, but I'm interested in a little bit of cross-media dialogue. Some people here are also painters, and their opinions on photography are very interesting because they can take a different perspective on the medium.

jd callow
03-10-2008, 04:15 PM
One of the largest influences photography has had on painting, and illustration is the use of perspective distortion as seen in short and long focal length lenses. I do see some cross pollination in lighting, but not that much. Painters, as seen in the OP, can create or enhance to the point of impossibility and photographers are bound to reality. There is certainly differing mindsets. The painter or even artist photographer will approach the meduim and its tools differently than the craftsman photographer. On the extreme is Super Realists and 20th Century Realism which isn't cross pollenated but photography dependent.

I like the image in th OP, but I don't see it as haveing a really strong relationship with photography.

03-12-2008, 12:36 PM
Too many absolutes in my last post, yes, absolutely. Too big a subject to handle like that. Photography has indeed influenced many painters -- how could it not, it defines the modern age. Personally, I'm now at the point where my interest in photography has almost completely disappeared. Both in looking and making. There just isn't enough in it.

03-13-2008, 08:27 PM
Colors are just not given to photography.