René Magritte - The Treachery of Images, 1929.

Ceci n’est pas…

René Magritte’s most famous painting, The Treachery of Images, 1928-9, may hang in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art but it also makes sense as a banner for a French season for art in Los Angeles. “This is not…” leaves opening for all the possibilities for what is. Some conservative Europeans have long critiqued Americans for their crassness and lack of history, but the dream of Los Angeles is a bit of both, an unruly, difficult to define territory that is at its best a place of possibility, surging with possibilities that defines itself, you could argue, on the treachery of images. Image and object are constantly at odds with one another, they can so easily cross-dress as the other. In an imagined landscape, the object of Los Angeles is never exactly what you think it is.