This series began with combined inspiration from Renée Magritte’s painting The Son of Man and the They Might Be Giants song Chess Piece Face.
Surrealist art can be intriguing, hallucinatory, and mysterious. It can also be heavy handed, ugly, and abrasive. What I love about Magritte’s approach is his knack for creating visual puzzles that leave the interpretation up to the viewer.
Magritte said of his work: “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing… they evoke mystery and indeed when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question ‘What does that mean’? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”
In this sense surrealist art becomes an exploration into the unknown without the typically desired end of unveiling mysteries. Since so many of the questions we ask through art, science, philosophy, etc. do not have definitive answers, the simple evocation of mystery or posing of questions becomes our source of meaning. The answer lies in the question itself: in the act of exploration rather than in the result.
I think this opens us up to a playfulness and lightness in art and in life. If we can enjoy the mere process of inquiry and find fulfillment within curiosity itself, we may come as close as ever to the secrets of life.
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