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Música solar

Remedios Varo

This gorgeous image was painted in 1955 by the Spanish-Mexican artist Remedios Varo (1908-1963). Surrealist art such as this uses strange and counter-rational imagery to project truths that transcend our everyday mind. Once you adjust your (mind's) eyes, the painting makes immediate sense. After all, isn't Apollo the god of light and the lyre? And isn't music, like the sun's rays, a renewable resource?

"Varo's insistence that her art was infused with thaumaturgy suggests that we consider a work like Música solar as emblematic of a kind of mystical art form, where efficacy in the world (the blooming of flowers) is a truer measure of a picture's success than any reputed aesthetic merits, and that we might feel an artwork's rightness as we do a sonorous melody. In Varo's pictures, music and magic are parallel arts insofar as they both mediate the relationship between a human actor and an animistic world inhabited by spirits and ordered by unseen forces."

—Caitlyn Haskell and Tere Arcq, "Spirit, Matter, Story, Soul," in Remedios Varo: Science Fictions (Art Institute of Chicago, 2023)


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