Monday, January 25, 2016

Inspiration on a Theme

The sources of inspiration can be fleeting. As a young man I happened across a poster in a small art store that featured two twin girls with no torsoes. One girl looked into a book, and one looked out an open wall at a field of ice. In the distance a hot air balloon carried plant life to an unknown destination. In the fireplace, books burned.

Without knowing the artist, I was in love. The work was surreal but beautiful and grounded.

Through the course of several moves, I lost the poster. But years later, I have come to think that the painting shown on the poster must have been by Rene Magritte. His style is the only one even remotely close, though I've never been able to find the specific image.

Recently, I had an image appear in my head. I can only assume that its origin was another of Magritte's paintings, The Lovers. The influence was limited, appearing mainly in the form of a fabric stretched over a woman's face. A million other images and thoughts influenced the rest.

That's usually the nature of inspiration. It is almost never pure. It has a million parts coming from a million sources and a million directions. A piece from childhood. A piece from a museum years ago. A piece from the internet yesterday. The face of someone passing you on the street.

Purity in inspiration would be so boring.

Thanks to Julia Moss for helping me create the weird images in my head this afternoon.

The Lovers, by Rene Magritte


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