Rene Magritte Belgium 1898 – 1967
It only seemed appropriate for April Fools Day to introduce the students to the Belgian artist and intellectual Rene Magritte, a founding member of the Surrealists. He became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context. His work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality. Magritte experienced massive upheavals, in his life living through both world wars and he often commented that nothing he could create was more surreal than the time he was living in. He dabbled in many styles and it was viewing Giorgio de Chirico's "The Song of Love" 1914, that brought Magritte to tears; he described this as "one of the most moving moments of my life: my eyes saw thought for the first time." Like many Surrealists, Magritte was deeply engaged with literature and his work often reflected a dreamlike aesthetic and evocative symbols to illustrate his complex philosophy and political ideology. Surrealism became one of the 20th centuries major art movements, influencing many artists and spawning several art movements including Pop Art .His works have been frequently adapted or plagiarized in advertisements, posters, book covers including the logo for Apple.
“Magritte, more than any other artist of the past century, made it his project to subvert our faith in visual similitude. He lived through violent and uncertain periods that inspired many Europeans to question their governments, religion, and human decency” His artwork similarly asks viewers to reevaluate their acceptance of what they see. Always good advice.