Thursday, September 21, 2006



As I came out of work today it looked like the sun was setting on N St. Absolutely beautiful. Lately I've found that the images that arrest me are the ones that play with shadows, the light, and the dark. I've traded the details for a larger look.
This is my favorite painting. Empire of Lights, by Rene Magritte.

I bought my first copy four years ago at the poster fair when I was a sophomore in college. I wandered over to the sale during some free time, saw it, and was instantly drawn to it. It's nothing too extraordinary - and I'm certainly not into buildings or anything. But the mix of light and dark, the way the sky is so blue, and the house is so dark, just captured me.

I went to purchase it, and the sales guy said happily, "oh, you found it!" I played it off, but he could tell that I had no idea what he was talking about. He said that I had come to him the day before, asking about that painting and if they had it...hadn't I? I told him that I was certain that I hadn't, that I had never seen the painting before. Looking a little freaked out (or possibly like one enjoying a little practical joke), he completed the purchase, and gave me a weird look.

This poster and I have some sort of destiny. Or something. My first copy, lasting three years, through three moves, got torn on the last trip. I knew the only way I could bear with the loss was if I ordered a new one immediately, so I did. Empire of Lights v2.0 is a slightly different color (more green, yuck), but it does the job.

So today, walking back from the metro, the sky looked a lot like it does in the painting. Dark ground, light sky. Here's my hand at Magritting.

It's a pretty photo.

I think it's a great story about you and the first painting. Makes you wonder about a fate a bit, doesn't it?
Good is certainly a captivating painting (I've never seen it before).

And the photo is great as imitates art?
Very nice, Meg.

Rene would have been happy to share an absinthe (or six) with you.
I agree with everyone here- just lovely.
tc: thanks! RE fate: or psychic dreams. or my level of gullibility!

jc: thanks!! ... or does art imitate life?

wombat: did he drink that? Thst explains "ceci n'est pas une pipe"

mona: thanks :-)
But it's not a pipe. It's a painting of a pipe. You can't put tobacco in it and smoke it...if you try to light it, the canvas will just burn and the paint will melt away! Yet perfectly rational people might look at it and say, "Quelle belle pipe!" ...

Images, like words, are indeed deceiving...somehow, simultaneously, a painting of a thing is and is not the thing itself...much the same way that the word we use to describe a thing is and is not the thing. A complicated referent like an image or a word is no more or less the thing it represents than the thing itself...and yet they are somehow different.
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