Magritte: this is not his life….
The photography museum of Charleroi gives visitors an intimate look at surrealist painter René Magritte's life. After travelling to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Seoul the exhibit, consisting of over 130 ‘mechanical images', photos and films, will be in Charleroi until 10 May.
Nestled in a former Carmelite convent, the photography museum of Charleroi is one of the most important European museums dedicated to the medium. It owns 80,000 photos, stores 3 million negatives and hosts many temporary exhibitions. René Magritte will be featured in the ‘revealing image’ until spring through images from three private collections selected by curator Xavier Canonne.
After spending some time looking through the family photo album of René, as he was known then, visitors will discover his intellectual family, a real gang when the artist began to exhibit in New York, Paris and other prestigious art meccas. The photos provide an off-beat picture of a group of friends. Magritte plays with images, staging and creating compositions that are nearly like paintings. He takes a photo of his wife in front of a virgin canvas and she becomes the subject of the painting which isn't a painting…
Magritte liked photography and the cinema the surrealists grew up with: Charlie Chaplin, westerns, Fantômas…He parodied them in quirky Super 8 films during the 1950s.
It's another way of looking at the sometimes zany world of the master of Belgian surrealism. You should see it now at the Charleroi Photography Museum.