T H E R A P I S T

Look at the thought and word balloon “texts.” They are a play on Magritte’s “Le Viol.” The “texts” are like Magritte’s painting in that they are a face made of a torso. Using red on black, the shrink/brush/ artist puts his words in easel/artist’s “mouth.” In both, individual personality made a generic sexuality. A portrait made porn.

A less extreme take on the Magritte is that by the torso–the sexual–being connected to the face–the personal–its nakedness can’t become nude; its reality cannot become ideal. Is “Le Viol” art or an illustration of it? Was Magritte really doing mimetic art which deifies as well as defiles the model or was he just playing with it, spoofing its subject/object paradox?

Now look at the pair of synecdoches; artist as easel and artist as brush. Add to them two metonymies; artist as both a sits-like-a-client easel and a brush psychologist. The scene is a self-analysis by a split personality. Like that’s gonna work.

Also this work, as may the Magritte, illustrates an art act, playing on the subject/object paradox; But here the naked and faceless model is not a combination –a face/torso–but a negation, neither person nor objet d’art. And she’s not happy.

Note: The inspiration for the drawing/post is threefold. First, of course, is the painting by Magritte, “Le Viol.” Second is a drawing by a 20th century British artist, Roger Hilton. The third, roughly guiding the pose, is a stock photo of a couple in therapy.

You all know of Magritte’s work. The Hilton drawing is of an artist’s studio, the model therein is drawn with as many lines as the one in the thought balloon on the left. No, I didn’t trace it. In it, all the lines were black. I couldn’t tell you if the face in the body was intentional, but it sure did stand out. Of the photo, nothing can be said.

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