Rene Magritte, one of the most controversial painters of the 20th century, is never short of surprises. Having provided labour as a commercial artist for the better part of his adult life, he went solo and began putting oil to canvas to make his impression on the world around him. His artworks resonate with the surrealism era, but his images are far more provocative. One such image, which seems simple yet pregnant with meaning, is titled, Meditation.
About the painting
The art, Meditation, borders on the bizarre. It is a depiction of the sandy beach and the tranquil blue ocean with two small waves rippling towards the beach. Nothing out of the ordinary until focus shifts to the beach: three creepy worm-like creatures are crawling along the beach, with their heads chopped off and replaced with candle flames.
Rene's obsession with intriguing imagery
Meditation, like many of Rene's other works, thrives on insanely strange images. Three worms are crawling along the beach, and each of them has a candle light in place of the head. The blue ocean is also intriguing, considering that the surrounding seems to be dark. This image possibly depicts the appearance of the sea late in the night. However, it is the artist idea of conjoining a crawling creature with a candle that is rather shocking. How it relates to the title, Meditation, is another mystery which Rene wants his audience to decipher.
The underlying analogy
However, a closer scrutiny of the image and a general understanding of Rene's approach to surrealistic art will reveal an interesting primary parallel. Rene manages to achieve in his painting what is only possible in poetry: imbuing a deeper meaning in a work of art. This painting connotes the mechanism by which the brain works during meditation. The mind goes blank for a moment before blurry images start to form. Eventually, ideas start crawling across the brain like the worms as they become beacons of light. It is at this point that the human mind begins to establish relationships between objects that are seemingly disconnected.
Rene Magritte is a controversial Belgium-born artist of the surrealist era, and has many paintings to his name. his works set him aside from other artists due to the strange twists he inputs into simple depictions.