15: Rene Magritte & surrealism's daddy, Giorgio de Chirico - The Song of Love 1914


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Stephanie Dueñas and Russell Shoemaker are back with another slice of Art History: they discuss Rene Magritte and his painting "The Unexpected Answer" from 1933, Giorgio “Daddy” De Chirico’s influence on Rene and the Surrealists, and De Chirico's "The Song of Love" from 1914.

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De Chirico’s metaphysical works were a first in art history and has since influenced generations of artists, especially the Surrealists. Both he and De Chirico evoke a sense of stimmung, or mood, that is especially unnerving when their paintings are realistically painted but Rene takes it a step further.

While Rene is considered a Surrealist, he was not quite like the others. His compositions raise more questions than answers and were likely inspired by the tragedy and war he experienced early in life. His interest in the macabre and uncanny, taken from Edgar Allen Poe and Lewis Carroll really took off once he left Brussels and headed to Paris, to the heart of Surrealism.

Somewhere between all of the melancholic marble statues, architectural arcades, giant chess pieces and bowler hats, Stephanie and Russell finally discuss the beginnings of Surrealism which include Andre Breton’s military career, Sigmund Freud’s ideas, and Max Ernst’s French translation skills. Lastly, they confront the Daddy in the room and discuss that disturbing, lingering sense of uneasiness Rene’s works leaves us in. And if Rene, at the end of the day, is truly a Surrealist.

Our Art Pantry of the week are Automatic, Surrealist Techniques: Frottage, grattage, eclaboussure, fumage, and decalcomania. Topics include Belgian waffles, Surrealist bedtime stories, a forgotten Krautrock band, why your daddy doesn't listen to David Bowie, theatre, The Treachery of Images, and Daddies - lots and lots of Daddies.

The song featured in this episode was ‘Fowl and Fruit’ by Patrick Kilpatrick , from Kill Patrick vol 1, which can be found here: https://patrickkilpatrick.bandcamp.com/ Consider supporting his work!

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