All illustrators owe a debt to René Magritte (1898-1967) and to Ian Ballantine for publishing an affordable “trade paperback” on his work in the 1960s. Illustrators everywhere found their surrealist alter-egos and spirit in that very volume. Sadly, Magritte fell into the kitsch trap for a short time only to be rebirthed by MoMA at this fall’s Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 (September 28, 2013 until January 12, 2014).
I’ve always loved the work. The dislocations of logic, manipulation of time and space, and the playful nose-thumbing at the art establishment. So, I’ve waited a long time for a Magritte I could have for my very own. Lo-and-behold in Paris the other day, I found just the object d’art produced by the same people who brought us “Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights” in resin. Here’s a resonating version of “The Son of Man” (1964):
The original painting was commissioned in 1963 by Harry Torczyner and finished a year later. He wanted a self-portrait of the Belgian Magritte in the spirit of the Flemish Rebens and Ensor in which the artists wore hats.