I taught the SAT prep stuff again today. We ran across a sentence about Rene Magritte and it turned out the kids hadn't heard of him.
Makes sense. Most people, I think, don't meet him until the beginning of college. Not because of any art classes, but because of the ubiquitous dorm-room art poster sale. "Let's see, Bob Marley, Klimt's "Kiss," or Magritte?" Back then, I chose something from Picasso's blue phase and Klee's un-Klee-like "Heroic Rose" (if that really was the name).
But some kids at least pretended to know the "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" picture, whose name is actually something entirely different, "La Trahison des Images" (the treachery or deceit of images - or some such thing).
This reminded me of my tattoo plans from a while back. First I thought I'd just get the cursive writing from the picture and have it say "Ceci n'est pas une tatouage" (this is not a tattoo). But it would be a tattoo, not an image of one, so that didn't work. Then I thought, maybe a tattoo of a brushstroke, like the Lichtenstein, but that wouldn't really be identifiable on skin.
Also, I realized I'd just be imitating other people's stuff and not come up with my own.
Another college aside: At some point I wanted to have my email signature include a cool quote. I looked around and ran across Emerson and realized I liked his "quotables." But then I thought about them and realized that all the good ones were essentially saying, "go your own way and don't copy other people." So really, anyone who quotes Emerson is misunderstanding him. (I wonder if he dismayed at being cited. "Yet another fool who doesn't grasp my message...")
And since I'm not a tattoo artist, and since I don't necessarily respect tattoo artists' work enough to want it permanently implanted on my dermis, I think I'll pass.
Or maybe I'll just get the classic anchor.