Without a doubt, many people have looked at a painting by René Magritte or Salvador Dali and said “that’s weird” or “that guy’s insane,” while others said, ”that’s fascinating,” or “ I bet he’s fun at a party.” All of the above may be true, and that’s okay. Things or people that are strange make life a lot more interesting. Imagine a world without the arts: no dance, no music, no theatre, no sculptures, and no paintings. Now imagine the art world without René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo or Yves Tanguy. That would be a world without strange people. Oscar Wilde once wrote “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” I believe this is true of surreal art, sometimes more than any other genre. Surreal art, like life, can be chaotic, distorted, unearthly, sometimes disturbing, and often things are not as they should be – or are they? In the middle of it all, we see the rose growing in the sand, the butterflies sailing a ship away, a woman who is free as a bird, so she is the bird. We see a random apple floating in the clouds, we see the order in the chaos, the light in the darkness, the beauty in the strangeness, and we appreciate it more because we had to find it, and because we can relate to it. We have all felt weird or different at some point in our lives, but amazing things happen when we realize that our strangeness is what makes us special and what makes us beautiful.
The Tampa Museum of Art and the 2018 Pride & Passion Steering Committee invite you to the 13th annual Pride & Passion, “Strange Beauty,” a Surrealist Headdress Ball inspired by the Rothschild’s 1972 Surrealist Ball at the Chateau de Ferrières. Dress in your finest evening wear and top it off with a surreal masterpiece that reflects your “Strange Beauty.”
Embrace your strangeness and live beautifully,
Marvin Meeks, Chair of Pride & Passion 2018