(No. 11) Ceci n’est pas un Magritte or the Great Wave of Verviers, Belgium
I was lucky to have another opportunity to be a guest artist @ “Creative expression to promote Human Rights” Workshop, Verviers, Belgium. I was invited by Yves Reuchamps aka Willow to do the 11th Great Wave on the wall of the entrance of Centre de jeunes “Les Récollets”. I met Yves last year in autumn in Banja Luka, but we really clicked in workshop in Torino di Sangro this year. He had this Monty Python T-shirt “Knights who say Ni” and basicly I found out that he was complete nutter, especially when it comes to the Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Some will wonder why I write this at all; well it will be explained later. BTW the Monty Python’s Flying Circus is absolutely not an Italian thing, Lupin the III – Yes, Monty Python – NO.
My only connection to Belgium is that I am a fan of Antwerpen´s bend dEUS. Since I saw them perform in MTV’s Most Wanted show in ´94 I’ve gone bonkers. I have original CDs, some singles, DVD and I just found out that some of them have been stolen or, should I say, borrowed indefinitely. Now you have to understand that having originals in Bosnia means great devotion. We usually download everything from the Internet 🙂 for the net is vast and infinite. So I was thinking the Great Wave of dEUS for Belgium but I sensed that planets weren’t aligned in that direction.
…and Now Something Completely Different
There is this ridiculous Monty Python´s sketch called “A man puts tape-recorder up his nose” where Michael Palin is playing La Marseillaise (the French national anthem) by pressing his nose, mono. There is also a sequel to the sketch “A man with the brother with tape-recorder up his nose” featuring Graham Chapman and Michael Palin and La Marseillaise played NOW in STEREO.
So I had this idea of Michael Palin blowing the Great Wave off Kanagawa from his nose, and guess what, I entered surrealism. And one of the most famous surrealists was from Belgium. I am talking René Magritte. But the thing is, I didn’t think of Rene because of Belgium, it was an Italian connection that led me to him. For he is a recruiting character in Dylan Dog´s comic. And one of the best episodes of Dylan Dog is Golconda!, fully dedicated to René Magritte.
As you can see the cover of that episode featured Rene with tentacles coming from under his hat. And again we have connection to Hokusai, the man who painted most famous tentacle porn ever, The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife or Ama and Octopus. So I just did a few adjustments to composition of the Great Wave, instead of Fuji, I place segment of “La Grande Guerre – the Great War”, a man with the floating green apple, defying gravity, both recurring symbols in Rene´s paintings. Instead of the Japanese fishermen in the boats, I placed a floating man from Golconda. I also placed a few of them in the sky among the drops from the wave. To emphasise even more the connection to Magritte, I wanted to write “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” above tentacle man´s head. For this is not a pipe, the nose is not a pipe, the wall is not a pipe, Centre de jeunes is not a pipe. But since I applied the drawing on the wall, the people were immediately commenting “Ah, René Magritte!” , almost not seeing the Great Wave or me. So I decided to skip “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” sign, and name the painting “Ceci n’est pas un Magritte”, because it is not. And as my newly made friend from Centre de jeunes “Les Récollets”, Steph Leswing aka Yeah… Yeah said:
This is not a love song, this is not america, this is not a blowjob, ceci n’est pas une marguerite, this is not Margaret, das is nicht ein berliner, but …
does the painting now make perfect sense?
View Ceci n'est pas un Magritte in a larger map
More photos of Ceci n’est pas un Magritte available on my fb page.
Size: 290|260 x 550 cm
(114.17|102.36 x 216.535 inch)
Year: October 2015
Availability: Public/Street Art