Headline, September23, 2013


GEM OF- A GENIUS !!! '''

While Rene Magritte is hardly a household name, there are few households that do not know his images. His bowler-hatted men have become the logo of Surrealism   -and it's chiefly thanks to Magritte that the answer to ''how many Surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?'' is ''a fish''.

Yet Magritte's mass audience has not been gathered by, by the art world. You are more likely to see his works on the billboards than on gallery's walls.

Only 1992, only in 1992, the current Magritte retrospective at the Hayward Gallery lit up;  -was the Belgian's genius Surrealist's first large exhibition in that country for over 20 long years. But during this time Magritte's paintings have appeared on countless book jackets and advertising campaigns.

No other artist has been so ruthlessly plundered, his deadpan fantasies have been reproduced, paraphrased, and plagiarised to sell products ranging from cosmetics to the Greater London Council before it was abolished. 

Amidst the ubiquity of his imagery, Magritte the man has remained a comparative mystery.  This was intentional;  Whereas Salvador Dali's moustachioed persona has become as famous as his melting clocks, ''Magritte shunned celebrity and led a life of such simplicity and ordinariness that it bordered on the perverse.''

Apart from a three year stay in Paris between 1927 and 1930, this son of a stock cube manufacturer spent most of his life in Brussels. He took special pains not to behave like an artist. He painted some of Surrealism's most unsettling pictures in his immaculately carpeted living room while wearing a sober suit. 

And in contrast to the flamboyant liaisons of the majority of Surrealism's members, Magritte remained married to the same woman, Georgette Berger, for over 40 years, the childless couple channelling their affections into budgerigars and Pomeranian dogs.

It was this role of Mr Normal which acted both to conceal and complement one of this century's most subversive spirits. Magritte was capable of behaviour made all the more eccentric by coming from someone who had the outward appearance of a bank clerk.

During the Forties, when he was in late middle age, this good burgher of Brussels was not averse to supplementing his income   -as well as having a quiet laugh at the art world   -by faking works in the style of Picasso, Braque, de Chirico and Max Ernst,. 

No matter that he knew most of these artists personally and admired their work, the elderly joker also backdated and copied his own paintings when it suited him, and even applied his counterfeiting skills to banknotes.

Magritte had little interest in money for its own sake; the funds generated by these pranks financed a series of anonymous publications which were circulated under such raspberry-blowing titles as:
The Silly Bugger  and    The Imbecile.

Rene Magritte may have hidden behind a banal facade, yet painted some of Surrealism's most memorable works. 
Weird and Wonderful : In front of a Magritte and it's hard to know whether to Laugh or Scream.

This Honour and Post continues:
With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Doha.. See ya all on the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless : '' !! Sounding Off !! ''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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