Magical realism was born out of surrealism. It is a genre in writing and visual art that puts magical or supernatural elements into an otherwise realistic setting. It is particularly found in Latin America and India, cultures that have a better sense of how the ancient struggles with the modern. Salman Rushdie explains that it is not so prevalent in the North because “… centuries of wealth and power have formed thick layers over the surface of what’s really going on”.
It is exactly that accretion and ‘scabbing over’ that concerns me. Nearly all of my painting is a commentary on this in some way. Power creates amnesia too. It prevents people from looking beyond the bubble of their immediate existence, to see beneath the layers. I can’t hope for much change from a couple of little paintings. But if enough people made their small voices heard, that would be a powerful blast that could not be ignored.
Here then are paintings that use Magical Realism to convey implicit political and cultural criticism. Nothing infuriates me as much as the way that the powerful have smothered awareness, dictated beliefs and doctored the truth.
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