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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon

Some of the shapes in this tie look like the mannequin heads that are so prominent in the "metaphysical" paintings of Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), such as The Disquieting Muses, Hector and Andromache, and The Prophet. But I have chosen to title this entry after the mannequinless painting of the same name, because this was an enigmatic autumn afternoon: it went from 70 degrees and sunny to a blustery 45 degrees with downpours in the course of a couple hours. De Chirico abadoned this surreal style after 1918, preferring to work in a classical mode and even condemning much of modern art. He lived and painted for another 60 years, but none of those works (including many "new versions" of his famous paintings) ever received the acclaim of his groundbreaking early work. The Giorgio de Chirico Foundation website has a selection of these later works online (links at the bottom of the home page). Now the "mushroom-TV-eye" shapes on the tie look like they're straight out of a Tim Biskup painting. If you want to buy any of his art, you'd better do it soon: his latest print, Black Helium, was priced at $1,000 and sold out instantaneously. On the other hand, this tie (maker unknown) will soon be available for much less...

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