Belgian artist Rene Magritte's biography is a key element of his
art. His life is infused with bizarre moments: a surreal journey
oscillating between fact and fiction that he always conducted as
the straight-faced bowler-hatted man. The events of Magritte's
childhood played an important part in creating the surrealist, but
it was his popular culture borrowings from crime fiction,
advertising and postcards that has made his work instantly
recognizable. The often unreliable nature of Magritte's accounts of
his own life have transformed his public image into a kind of
fictional character rather than a `real person'. He would shape his
own life story to be its own surreal work of art.
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