Belgian artist Rene Magritte's biography is a key element of his art. His life is infused with bizarre moments: a surreal journey oscillating between fact and fiction that he always conducted as the straight-faced bowler-hatted man. The events of Magritte's childhood played an important part in creating the surrealist, but it was his popular culture borrowings from crime fiction, advertising and postcards that has made his work instantly recognizable. The often unreliable nature of Magritte's accounts of his own life have transformed his public image into a kind of fictional character rather than a 'real person'. He would shape his own life story to be its own surreal work of art.
The Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte redefined the way we think about art. Famous for his men in bowler hats, Magritte's witty and provocative work inspired generations of later artists, from Andy Warhol to Jasper Johns. In this illuminating new biography, Patricia Allmer radically repositions Magritte's work in relation to its historical and cultural circumstances. Allmer explores the significant influence of events and experiences in Magritte's early childhood and youth, recorded in his letters and essays: his memories of visiting fairs and circuses; of magical shows and performances; of the cinema; and in particular his first encounter with his future partner, Georgette, on a carousel. Allmer's analyses of these events and their influence on both well-known and less familiar images give new insights into Magritte's art. The book will appeal to those who wish to know more about Magritte's life and work, as well as the wide audience for Surrealism.