Ehi Amore, vestiamoci bene che oggi vengono a farci delle foto per un paio d’ore.
Ehi Amore, tienimi la mano dietro un tronco,
A visit with Magritte
If I indulge myself to memory, I can still feel the knot of excitement that gripped me as I turned the corner into Rue Mimosas, looking for the house of Rene Magritte.
It was August, 1965. I was thirty-three years old and about to meet the man whose profound and witty surrealist paintings had contradicted my assumption about photography.
Artists and poet I admire always seem to be not real. They are like fictional characters who exist only in printed pages or as a painting on walls. Althought some painters are more celebrities than artists, those rare mystical ones are different. Their art appears here and there like gifts left by an unseen Santa Claus. Magritte’s art was a great gift for me.
I had no idea what he looked like and I realized that I might pass him on the street unaware.
When I pushed the buzzer by the name Magritte, I was not totally sure why I was there.
Being older, I understand a little better, I know that there are some few people in our lives who are great givers, not just mentors in the usual sense. They open our lives, give without taking and free us in the process. They do this unbeknownst. They do it by the example of their lives and in the power of their art. The power and integrity of Magritte’s vision had brought me there to thank him.
On the afternoon that I said my last farewells to Rene and Georgette Magritte, I felt a sense of melancholy knowing that something wonderful had come to an end.
A year and a half later, Magritte died.