My Neighbor Magritte

The surrealist next door

René Magritte is not my favorite painter. His Surrealist visions are smooth and perfectly rendered, but they lack the bold color and shadowy mystery of say, a Giorgio de Chirico canvas. Still, he is perhaps the most successful artist at achieving the purpose of the Surrealist movement, as stated by André Breton : “to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” By favoring direct representation of ethereal imagery over stylistic innovation, his works feel less like pieces of art than objective accounts of lucid dreams. And all those faceless men in suits and bowler hats are decidedly creepy.

Below is a list of the Magritte paintings referenced in this comic, by order of appearance. If you are in New York between September 28, 2013 and January 12, 2014, The Museum of Modern Art will be hosting an exhibition entitled “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1928-1936.”

The Treachery of Images, 1929

The Empire of Light, 1954

The Man in the Bowler Hat, 1964

The Castle of the Pyrenees, 1959

Key to Dreams, 1930

Personal Values, 1952

The Human Condition, 1933

The Portrait, 1935

The Unexpected Answer, 1936

The Son of Man, 1946

Golconda, 1953