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MoMA

AUTHOR: JOCELYN MEINHARDT

Posts by Jocelyn Meinhardt
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October 21, 2013  |  Collection & Exhibitions
The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Halloween at my high school was never boring. The classic 1980 movie Fame was inspired by NYC’s La Guardia HS, and was pretty accurate: you would indeed hear gospel singing in a music room above you during homeroom, see young actors heatedly rehearsing scenes in the hallways, and the art students—ah, the art students. I knew them well as I was among them. Some were mind-bogglingly prodigious, and perhaps as a result, Halloween proved to be a way to show off the skillz that would surely later in life pay the billz. Case in point: Tristan Elwell’s costume one year.

When I saw the above photo again after lo, so many years (please also note the existence of not one, not two, but three mullets behind Tristan), I felt the inevitable surge of nostalgia, and also a sense of synchronicity. The Magritte exhibition had just begun, and as such my head was full of green apples and bowler hats.

I found myself wondering what other Magritte-ian things were out there. As it so happens, Anne and Danielle, the curators of Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926­–1938, had already done their own Internet searching and found several clever and charming things like this:

Hilary B Price, Rhymes with Orange, “Magritte Arrives Home”

Hilary B. Price, Rhymes with Orange, “Magritte Arrives Home

And this:

Of course, people aren’t only riffing on The Son of Man.* The Treachery of Images (This Is Not a Pipe) is equally well-known, if not more so.

In fact, even the cover of the book I was reading at the time happened to reflect this beloved painting.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks, 2011 Picador Edition, cover illustration by Paul Slater

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks, 2011 Picador Edition, cover illustration by Paul Slater

But I have to admit this last one, inspired by the spooky and haunting The Lovers, is my favorite of these. Not as spooky and haunting as the real thing, but not exactly a laugh riot, either, these parking lot lovers managed to create their own work of art. And as we all know, Plastic Bags Are Not a Toy. How riskily romantic of them!

Michael Kauffmann, The Lovers, 2012

Michael Kauffmann. The Lovers. 2012

And then I stumbled upon Andrea K. Scott’s article in the New Yorker, in which she declared “Magritte’s art has been hijacked…from the Beatles’ record label to a Volkswagen ad to a bowler-hat light fixture.” Hijacked is a strong word, Ms. Scott! After all, Magritte’s art isn’t the first to inspire inventive takeoffs.

See a few more Magritte tributes on our recently launched MoMA Tumblr.

* Son of Man is not on view in MoMA’s current exhibition, as it was painted in 1964, after Magritte’s breakthrough years. However, The Lovers and The Treachery of Images (This Is Not a Pipe) are.

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July 19, 2013  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: Escape from New York

Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.

There are tons of great things about summer in the city, first among them being how the place mellows out. Read more

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October 26, 2012  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: Spooooooky Art

Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.

Walking around the galleries on a Tuesday, when MoMA is closed to the public and virtually empty, is a rare treat Museum employees can enjoy. Read more

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February 14, 2012  |  I Went to MoMA and
I Went to MoMA and…Felt the Love


Maybe this is obvious, but it was news to me: MoMA is a ridiculously romantic place. Museum visitors are falling in love, getting engaged, checking each other out, celebrating their anniversaries, and more, all over the place around here. Read more

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January 20, 2012  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: This Is New York

I bore myself (and many others, I’m sure) with how often I mention that I grew up in New York City and how much it’s changed over the years—also, did you happen to know about A and have you gone to B yet or eaten at C—and OMG don’t ever D at E because insert lengthy anecdote here. Read more

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October 14, 2011  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: Something Fishy

When I was an art major in high school, Paul Klee was my favorite artist—especially the fishy phase he went through in the 1920s. Postcards of Around the Fish, with its straight-up fish-on-a-platter composition Read more