Work In Progress
I seem to be allergic to detail–I refuse to think I’m incompetent–when I hold a paintbrush. Give me a digital stylus or pen and ink and I happily enter the dexterous realm of illustration. But unless the canvas is large enough for rendering detail with a big fat brush my fingers fumble unforgivably. So as much as I’d love this image to be finished, it’s still a WIP. Sigh.
Okay, now that prefacing is out of the way, the reason I started this was for a #chagallchallenge on Google +. The long of it you can read here, the short of it is:
The Chagall Challenge is: “Inspired by Marc Chagall” can be interpreted in any way you wish, from a study (or copy) of an individual painting to a general stylistic association to a loose thematic link.
Eggs & Onions is based on #5 in Lena’s (@LenaLevin_paint) description: “Let it float”: let things that usually remain earth-bound (like cows or goats, for example) fly in your skies.
So, if and when I ever finish it, you can be sure the clouds will part and a morning banquet will rain down upon thee.
Only then will I update the image.
In the meantime, keep your eyes skyward!
This piece was a quick-study of using negative space boldly. After completion, the title “ceci n’est pas une pomme” (this is not an apple)—an alteration of Surrealist artist René Magritte’s statement, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (‘This is not a pipe’), in his “La trahison des images” (‘The Treason of Images), 1929—seemed appropriate and a fitting tribute to Magritte and his fascination with language and perception.
From what I’ve read, Magritte was very much a philosopher-artist, and in “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” he provocatively toyed with perception and reality. In it he states that this is not a pipe—which is true, it’s an image of a pipe—and if you don’t believe it, Magritte challenges, “just try to fill it with tobacco.”
So go ahead, just try eat my apple.
If you are interested in semiotics and linguistics, you might want to check out the excerpt from “This Is Not a Pipe” (1968), by the French literary critic and philosopher Michel Foucault. But as Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson), my writer colleague on Twitter, would say: “Pack a lunch!” For Foucault discusses the painting in-depth, in terms of its apparent paradox(es). But keep in mind that his argument was published a year after Magritte’s death and is based on assumptions of “resemblance” and “similitude” that the artist may not have agreed with.
And now, dessert. In addition to his pipe—I mean, image of a pipe—Magritte later created at least three works in the “’Ceci n’est pas…” motif of apples. One image from 1964, found on Christie’s —which harvested no small prize of $1,136,639 US—has Lot Notes worth reading. I will leave you with an excerpt:
“Ceci n’est pas une pomme (‘This is not an apple’) unites two of René Magritte’s most famous iconographical elements, the apple and the ‘Ceci n’est pas…’ concept. The apple only really began to play a significant part in Magritte’s works in 1950, but reappeared in so many guises, on so many scales, that it has become one of his dominant trademarks. Here it is given a monumental status slightly shocking for a fruit – the canvas and the apple on it are gigantic, as are the words, written in such a controlled calligraphic manner. Magritte’s apples were often monumentalized, shown made of stone or on a disproportionate, impossible scale compared to the accompanying objects. In giving such predominance to such a simple fruit, Magritte managed to discreetly disrupt artistic tradition, for instance upsetting the entire concept of the still-life by giving predominance to the fruit, not to the artist or the tromp-l’oeil effect of the painting . . .
The ‘Ceci n’est pas…’ motif first appeared in 1929 in La trahison des images (‘The Treason of Images’), which depicts a pipe and underneath it the words ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ (‘This is not a pipe’). Its simple yet profound iconoclasm guaranteed its amazing success, and it has become the most famous of Magritte’s images . . .
The reuse of the ‘Ceci n’est pas…’ concept is part of a general movement in Magritte’s later work, when he showed renewed interest in his earlier subject matter, revisiting favorite themes and treating them with a new maturity and the benefit of hindsight. The apple replacing the pipe is thus not a continuation of an old theme, but an extensive revision.”
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The original painting is the second image down. It was a little dark and lifeless for my taste, so I rescued it in Photoshop with a combination of Selective Color, Curves and Black a& White. I don’t know if ethereal describes it . . . spartan, maybe? No pun intended.
Below is the original. My husband loves it; I think it’s a tad drab.
Color manipulation pushed hard perks it up a bit.
And then there’s always black and white.
This image is part of my “Quick Study” challenge. Learn more here.