Perception and Reality

Vermeer, detail
Vermeer, detail


This is not a Vermeer…or is it? I came across this piece of Vermeer farm machinery in a freshly hayed meadow in East Dover, Vermont. This scene tickled my funny bone so I set up my easel immediately and went to work.

In order for me to appreciate this visual pun, I had to be able to hold multiple layers of reality of this at once in my mind. The finding of farm machinery in a meadow in Vermont is no unusual thing but because of the brand logo my brain kicked into art history mode. Johannes Vermeer was a 17th century Dutch painter famous for his genre portraits and interiors (think of The Girl with the Pearl Earring). The closest that he ever came to painting a landscape that I know of were some cityscapes of his hometown Delft. Unusual for his name to be in any way associated with a landscape.

The third layer of reality is that I painted a Vermeer in creating this image…well not really…this reality is that I have pushed some pigment around and created something that our conventional view of reality says painting of Vermeer. Rene Magritte dealt with this view of reality in The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images). Wikipedia states (the painting)  shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”), which seems a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, it is an image of a pipe. 

This is the truly wonderful thing about art, it can open your mind to a different way of seeing the world, or actually change the way you perceive reality…sometimes into multiple realities.

With this post I am excited to invite you to follow the link to this painting Vermeer on my new updated web sight

You will find greatly improved graphics and easier navigation and functionality. Swing by, check it out and give me some feedback…


4 thoughts on “Perception and Reality

  1. avidseeker 07/08/2014 / 4:57 pm

    Roger, I just went to you website, and it looks terrific.  Enjoy your stay in NJ with Myra and John. XO Ginger

  2. christina cramer 07/08/2014 / 5:18 pm

    Deja vous? I was just going to email you of a movie Tom and I saw the other night …. “Tim’s Vermeer” thru Netflix 2013…. A fascinating documentary of how Tim figures out possibly the technique of how the light, the brightness of Vermeer’s paintings happened. Roger’s Vermeer is fascinating. How wonderful to be inspired to paint the humor in this way.

  3. Fred Hard 07/09/2014 / 8:41 am

    As always, your commentary invokes more comment – and thought. Thank you for that. Fred…

  4. halbooks 07/14/2014 / 10:57 am

    Roger, the new site looks great. Hope you are enjoying the summer. .

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s