Friday, January 21, 2011

Magic Realism

Rockwell Kent, American, 1882-1971, lilacs, c 1968, 24 x 34 inches.

In works of fantasy or surrealist art the  supernatural is usually immediately obvious, but in Magic Realsim a dream-like or mythic dimension is only subtly implied within a realist framework.
Formalist qualities such as the centrally placed figure, simplified repeated forms,  and the roof lines converging at the point of interest, where the flower is being plucked, produce a kind of dream-like, surreal or magic realist effect. They are a little too synchronistic to be true.
The subject is apparently mundane, but the formality, and stage-like lighting, suggest an event of mythic importance or something occurring in a dream, the significance of which escapes  the conscious mind. 
A touch of Magic Realism can give a landscape a fascinating edginess.

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