(oil on canvas)
“What a strange thing man is; and what a stranger thing woman.”
“There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.”
Did you know that Rene Magritte’s “The Son of Man” is a self-portrait? Although I’ve loved that painting forever I didn’t realize for many years that Magritte used himself as a model for his masterpiece. Granted, it’s a bit difficult to recognize a person whose face is obstructed by a giant apple…
The idea to paint a female version of Magritte’s “The Son of Man” has been marinating in my brain for a while. For someone who happens to paint a lot of self-portraits it made perfect sense to use myself as the subject of my future artwork. Of course, I couldn’t just paint myself with an apple in front of my mug and call it a day. Especially since there is a deeply-rooted tradition of connecting apples to Eve, all women, and the original sin.
It only made sense to move the apple to the area that makes biological females different from biological males. I debated whether or not I should wear an actual suit in the painting or just a birthday suit. The latter somehow seemed more appropriate.
The name was a no-brainer either. The painting pretty much named itself as “The Daughter of Man”. Since I love Pop Art I wanted to keep Magritte’s Pop-Artie/Surreal style. I also chose to depict myself in a stiff artificial pose reminiscent of the original painting.
However, I didn’t want to keep the background exactly the same as it is in “The Son of Man”. Instead of stone blocks in the background (which are very suitable for a faceless man depicted in the painting) I decided to go with bricks. To me smaller colorful bricks just go better with an image of a woman than gray boring blocks.
As for the meaning of the painting I’m afraid you’d have to find your own. …and that’s the true beauty of art!