I am the Eye in the Sky @ MoMA [permanent collection, part 7]

«…Looking at You
I can read Your Mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind…»

The False Mirror, 1929. Oil on canvas || René Magritte

<<”Le Faux Miroir” presents an enormous lashless eye with a luminous cloud-swept blue sky filling the iris and an opaque, dead-black disc for a pupil. The allusive title, provided by the Belgian Surrealist writer Paul Nougé, seems to insinuate limits to the authority of optical vision: a mirror provides a mechanical reflection, but the eye is selective and subjective. Magritte’s single eye functions on multiple enigmatic levels: the viewer both looks through it, as through a window, and is looked at by it, thus seeing and being seen simultaneously. The Surrealist photographer Man Ray, who owned the work from 1933 to 1936, recognized this compelling duality when he memorably described ‘”Le Faux Miroir” as a painting that “sees as much as it itself is seen.”>>

MoMA, views from the permanent collection.

January 30th, 2017

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