Time to get creative this week as we dive into the wonderful world of Surrealism! To be more specific, this week, your challenge is to follow in the footsteps of Rene Magritte, a Belgian surrealist painter who combined dreamy imagery with absurd perspectives. His hyper-realistic style is a perfect starting point for us photographers.
The challenge is to create your own image, based on the imagery and techniques of Rene Magritte. How you incorporate Magritte in your image, is entirely up to you.
Some useful links:
- https://www.magritte.be/oeuvre-magritte-en.html for more examples of Magritte’s paintings
- https://www.schirn.de/en/magazine/context/magritte/instagrammer_daniel_and_anna/ which features a photo challenge ImagineMagritte. Some lovely inspiration to be found here!
Now let’s have a look at some of the characteristics of a Magritte painting.
Bowler hats and hidden faces
One of Magritte’s key characters in many paintings is a man with a bowler hat, often with a face hidden behind an object. Analysts of Magritte’s work link this them with the untimely death of Magritte’s mother, who drowned in a canal. When she was found, her face was covered by her wet dress.
One of Magritte’s most famous paintings is undoubtedly ‘The treachery of images’, or, as it’s better known, ‘Pas un pipe’. The text ‘this is not a pipe’ seems to contradict the image that it accompanies: clearly, it’s a pipe we’re looking at, right?
However, if we listen to Magritte, it becomes clear what he means:
The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture ‘This is a pipe’, I’d have been lying!
This is of course a great theme to pick up as a photographer: what are the things that we shoot, and how do they correspond to reality? Do they make their own reality?
Magritte offers some great ideas for practising your double exposure and photoshop skills: many of his works contain some kind of cutout.
Magritte’s surrealism really shows in how he proportioned objects in his paintings. Very realistic objects like apples an roses become really strange when they fill up a room:
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Facebook, or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2017 Trevor Carpenter Photochallenge is fun and easy.
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