CHIMERAS AND HIDDEN FIGURES IN MAX ERNST'S WORK

Loplop first appeared in Ernst's collage novels La Femme 100 Têtes and Une Semaine de Bonté in the role of a narrator and commentator, followed by a number of works into the mid 1930s, forming an informal series of collages, paintings, and mixed media works.

By Balthazar Malevolent

CHIMERAS AND HIDDEN FIGURES IN MAX ERNST'S WORK

Max Ernst visualised his traumas and complexes, bringing them to the surface in the form of monsters, in which, among other things, true poetry in the spirit of Lautréamont's poetics was born from the union of the unconnected. All of Ernst's art derived from his daydreams. In his waking dreams, the invisible manifested itself, hidden from view and tabooed by consciousness.

The master introduced quasi-scientific images and anthropomorphic creatures - chimeras - into the art, allowing himself to shed his own fears and complexes.

Max Ernst made chimeras the protagonists of his visionary paintings. The artist had several key chimeras. One of the most recurring is either a man-bird or a woman-bird. The bird in Ernst's work is a symbol of his personal life. The images associated with his childhood memories. Max Erns was fond of birds, he had, in his words, an intimate-mystical relationship with them.

Max Ernst had two autobiographical episodes related to the nightingale: one day his favourite bird, a nightingale, died. It was at that moment his father came into the room and told Max that his sister has been born. It was such a shock for the boy that he involuntarily connected the two events, certain that the soul of the bird had been taken by his newborn sister.

The other episode is a boyhood hallucination with a knot on a wooden panel by his bedside. The knot appeared to him as the threatening head of a bird with a frightening eye and a sharp beak. This reflected his perception of the imaginary as a picture that could threaten and terrorise him, a universal phenomenon. This is what the artist depicts in this painting, freeing himself from childhood fears.

Later, Max Ernst has created a mythical creature, the Loplop bird, in which he embodied himself.

Loplop, sometimes known as Loplop, Father Superior of the Birds, was Max Ernst's alter ego. Loplop served as a familiar animal. "Among his more successful works of the thirties," William Rubin wrote of Ernst, "are a series begun in 1930 around the theme of his alter ego, Loplop, Superior of the Birds." Ernst's work "Loplop Introduces Loplop" was featured on the front cover of Gatan Picon's book "Surrealist and Surrealism," while the collage "Loplop Presents" was used as the frontispiece of Patrick Waldberg's book "Surrealism".

Loplop - Max Ernst
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