Style Icons: Male »Rene Magritte

magritteRene Magritte was a man born before his time, he initially met with wild criticism and limited acceptance–even today, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was able to purchase his Ceci n'est pas une Pipe from Sotheby's for a paltry $115,000.

The man really got his due back when his work was on the cover of Jackson Browne album in 1974 (and later Styx – the one with Come Sail Away). Apparently he just had to wait until the population was a bit more burnt out from a decade of drugs.

His art, like the witty Ceci n'est pas une Pipe, L'Empire des Lumieres and Le fils de L'homme are instantly recognizable and have been sited in or influenced such diverse works as The Simpsons, The Exorcist and Naked Lunch respectively.

You can see L'Empire des Lumieres at the Guggenheim, The Eternally Obvious at the Met, and several at the MoMa including The Portrait, an awesome still life with a seeing eye slice of ham.

While his work is fun and imaginative, his own life was no bed of surreal roses. It's believed that the frequently used image of someone's head covered in fabric was inspired by seeing his own mother's body pulled from the river with her dress obscuring her face after she committed suicide.

Still, he ended up with a stunning career, counted Dali among his friends, and married a beautiful woman who he grew old with holidaying in Cannes.

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Posted on August 4, 2008

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