The art of the pandemic continues at Vadim Temkin’s CGI atelier, with Golconda 2020, an homage to Magritte (on Facebook yesterday):

(#1) They way we live now

A many-depthed airscape of naked young men (with modesty hands) and fuzzy coronavirus molecules.

On the original painting. From Wikipedia:


Golconda (French: Golconde) is an oil painting on canvas by Belgian surrealist René Magritte, painted in 1953. It is usually housed at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas.

The piece depicts a scene of “raining men”, nearly identical to each other dressed in dark overcoats and bowler hats, who seem to be either falling down like rain drops, floating up like helium balloons, or just stationed in mid-air as no movement or motion is implied.

… As was often the case with Magritte’s works, the title Golconda was found by his poet friend Louis Scutenaire. Golkonda is a ruined city in the state of Telangana, India, near Hyderabad, which from the mid-14th century until the end of the 17th was the capital of two successive kingdoms; the fame it acquired through being the center of the region’s legendary diamond industry was such that its name remains, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “a synonym for ‘mine of wealth’.

Despite having obviously artificial images of naked (and therefore utterly vulnerable), context-less men rather than realistic representations of everyday businessmen dressed for work, and despite being sprinkled with cute child’s-toy models of deadly molecules, Vadim’s work, with its stormcloud-studded sky, terracotta-tiled roofs, and detailed house facades, seems much more vividly, urgently real than Magritte’s. This is where we live now, it’s not a surrealist dream: Golcorona is both familiar and gorgeous, but it’s also a mine of death.

Earlier in this blog:

on 7/21/13 in  “More Magritte”: #4, his Golconda

on 3/16/20, in “Corónsyphùs: Strength Through Biochemistry”: in #1, Vadim’s Workout of the Titans: corónavìrus vs. Sísyphùs, showing Sisyphus’s ceaseless efforts pushing a monstrous COVID-19 molecule up a mountain

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