Little Boxes

various sizes and substrates

A marquetry picture of an allegorical image depicting mans search for anonymity and personal identity. A parody on the picture, Golconda by Magrite. The title ‘ little boxes’ is taken from a ‘60’s song that commented on the blandness of society in the developed world.

Little Boxes 2003

Medium: Marquetry using 15 dyed veneers; Yellow Bolivar, Sunshine yellow Bolivar, Dark green Bolivar, Light grey Bolivar, Dark blue Bolivar, Lilac birdseye, Dark green birdseye, Light green birdseye, Light blue birdseye, Dark grey figured anegre, White ripple anegre, White anegre, Brown koto Harewood maple, Harewood sycamore.

“ There is a crowd of houses here, different houses, when you think of an estate, however, you don’t think of an individual house: accordingly, these houses are all designed the same, as simply as possible so as to suggest conformity.

The town was once wealthy, a visual feast for the eyes, something that man could be comfortable in, something to wonder at. I consider it a wonder that I can walk through the sky on the earth. On the other hand, the mundainity constitutes no surprise – it is quite unremarkable living space. The house in the scene is the lowest mean denominator, it is Mr. Averages anonymous home. Every one appears to desire one, they have no great desire to stand out from the masses.

In this dream world we can walk the yellow brick road across fields of wild flowers, toward the setting sun, with heavy heart as we see our countryside for ever blighted.’


Illustrated image 600h x 600w x 25d

Rene Magritte 1898 – 1967

“ Magrite was primarily a painter of ideas, a painter of visible thoughts, rather than of subjects. He valued neither lyrical nor expressionist abstraction. …..he preferred chess to painting……

Magrite’s most frequent concern in selecting his motifs is in the inversion or fusing of interior and exterior views, or of opposites or extreme positions, to put it in more general terms.

'perspicacity' 1936

In his own words, Magrite lived “like everything else” in the mystery of the world. Instead of seeking a more or less new or original manner of painting’ or inventing new techniques, he preferred to get to the bottom of things, to use painting as an instrument of thinking and philosophical wisdom, as a means of recognition inseparably bound up with mystery, with the inexplicable.”

Golconda 1953

Golconda 1953

“ There is a crowd of men here, different men. When you think of a crowd, however, you don’t think of an individual ; accordingly, these men are all dressed alike, as simply as possible, so as to suggest a crowd……Golconda was a wealthy Indian city, something like a wonder. I consider it a wonder that I can walk through the sky on the earth. On the other hand, the bowler hat constitutes no surprise – it is a quite unoriginal article of headgear. The man in the bowler hat is Mr Average in his anonymity. I, too, wear one ; I have no great desire to stand out from the masses “

Rene Magrite