This is not someone’s birthday

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Today marks the birthday of surrealist painter René Magritte, who would be 110 years old if he were alive today. Magritte is one of my favorite artists, having an unmistakable style and a complex view of the world. He was not only an excellent craftsman, but he was a thinker and a conceptual master. He challenged perceptions and always used his art to illustrate complex thoughts. Each work of his was layered and full of imagery that required analysis and multiple views. His paintings felt like dreams come alive, and every one of them is excellently twisted. He truly defined what surrealism was.

For those who want to know more about me and would like engage me on an artistic level, allow me to list some of my personal favorite artists.
1) Classical (Renaissance, Baroque, etc.) – Caravaggio
2) Surrealist – René Magritte
3) Abstract – Georges Braque
4) Contemporary – Norman Rockwell
5) Still Alive – Alex Ross (because I’m a nerd)

That’s just a handful. And like having to pick my favorite movie, these might all change tomorrow. So right now, what’s some of your favorite artists?

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7 Responses to This is not someone’s birthday

  1. Darby says:

    Are you trying to trick us into learning with these edu-macated questions? I’m not sure I like learned-ing.

    I like Peter Paul Rubens (Baroque), and not just because his absurdly lumpy nude portraiture inspired the obese mare in the cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” Actually, that’s the only reason.

    Diego Velazquez (Renaissance) is good, what with his saucy use of mirrors within pictures. I like Johannes (or Jan) Vermeer because of his skill, his use of that camera-like thingy, and because he was ballsy enough to repeatedly pose his people in front of the same stupid windows at the same stupid angle. Gotta admire that willingness to defy variety.

    In the Still Alive category, I like William Wegman, and not just because he has a thing for dressing up dogs like people. Okay, that’s pretty much the only reason.

  2. Boone says:

    Yeah, I should try to write entertaining and funny articles again. Although, in my defense, learning some new things never hurt anyone.

    And those were all good choices, especially Wegman.

  3. Josh S says:

    If you like some of these artists check out validemer kush (still alive). I think you will like. I have one of his on my wall at home and my parents sold his pieces when they lived in Hawaii.

  4. Page Smith says:

    I was an art history major, but now my brain is mush and I’ve forgotten many of the names I used to know like friends. This being the last week or so of National Novel Writing Month isn’t helping my brain cells, either, and it’s almost midnight as I’m writing this.

    So, the only thing I can give you are snippets of art history that my deep-friend brain is throwing at me at random. I’m getting almost zero details.

    1. Dutch still-lifes painted on very small pieces of board. The original images were tiny, but blown up a gazillion times into posters by us, they’re magnificent with very brightly spotlit flowers, fruits, and bugs against a nearly black background.

    2. Michaelangelo’s Libyan Sybil on the Cistine Chapel (oh, the spelling errors–let me count the ways).

    3. Lord Leighton, especially the one of the woman holding the white fabric above her head, which creates beautiful lighting. The Pre-Raphealites tend to steal the show from that era. I think Leighton and Tennyson (yes, the poet) are under-appreciated by modern folk.

    Brain fried. Transmission ends. Try your query again, later.

  5. Boone says:

    Well, Page, you made a concerted effort to contribute, and you should be commended for that. Also, I think NaNoWriMo has driven you mad.

  6. vein says:

    As the bard might say, even if Page went mad there would be method to it 🙂

    I am fond of pre-Raphealites, symbolism, but also Pollock, Colin MacCahon, especially: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/adamartgal/ed/artcollectiontour/images/works/mccahon450.jpg — which is actually enormous and not well depicted as a tiny jpeg. ( http://www.nzetc.org/etexts/BarVict/BarVict298a.jpg )

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