Sorting and Classifying

“Avant garde”, “Low-Brow,” “edgy” – all the silly lables we create to make sense of things in the art world. Sigh… Well, no use fighting it I guess and since I’m being grouped in the newly coined term “pop-surrealism” I decided to do a little research. (Actually, I do love the Surrealist movement, especially the roles women artist played in it – Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, etc.) In fact, I found this passage very interesting – I especially love the last line:

From “A Little-Known Work by Remedios Varo”- Chelsea(1995)

“Few people outside the world of art and art criticism are consciously familiar with the work of the Spanish surrealist Remedios Varo. Those who have come across her inadvertently may not even be aware of their acquaintance: Thomas Pynchon, in his slender ludic novel The Crying of Lot 49, introduces her with his description of her autobiographical triptych, Embroidering Earth’s Mantle, a 1961 oil on masonite piece which depicts six young women held captive in a convent tower, busily stitching under the austere supervision of a masked, apparently male figure who stirs-

a broth boiling in the same alchemical vessel
from which the girls draw their embroidery
thread. Each girl works alone, embroidering
images onto a continuous fabric that spills out
from table-height battlements around the facets
of the tower. Together they create a landscape
with houses, ponds, streams, boats, animals, and
humans, all nestled within the folds of the fabric.
(Kaplan 21)

Hardly Varo’s most striking work, it is nonetheless clear why Pynchon chooses it for his novel–the idea of constructing meaning, of the maze, the self-created puzzle. The world of one’s own imagining. —–One labors to make a certain sense of one’s life, and then is trapped by the labor’s fruits.——”

Wow… Isn’t that the truth?


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