Magritte by Banksy

Noted by Facebook posters recently, this Banksy takeoff on Magritte, photographed here from the side to make its 3-dimensional character clear:

(#1) Banksy’s This is a Pipe (2011), a play on René Magritte’s La Trahison des images (The Betrayal / Treachery of Images:  Ceci n’est pas une pipe)

(#2) The Magritte model

From my 7/10/17  posting “Taking the Magrittean Disavowal at face value”, on the paradoxical character:

In Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, the text disavows the image … so you have the choice of trusting the image (in which case, the text is false) or trusting the text (in which case, the image is counterfeit)

The Banksy alludes to the Magritte, saying in effect, Well, that‘s not a pipe, but this is a pipe — supplying not an image of a pipe, but an actual object that’s a pipe, while at the same time punning on pipe (a device for smoking tobacco, as in the Magritte; vs. a tube for transmitting fluid, as in the Banksy). The paradoxical character is gone, but in its place is an amiable reflection on things and their representations.

And, of course, the pipe pun has occurred to others. As in my 7/19/12 posting “Magritte”: a Bizarro cartoon with “Surrealist painter Rene Magritte [holding a This is not a pipe sign] and his brother, Surrealist plumber, Rodrigo [holding a length of pipe]”:


On what I’ve come to call the Magrittean disavowal, the disjuncture between text and image in #2, there’s a Page of my postings on this blog.

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