“Magic realism or magical realism is a genre where magical or unreal elements play a natural part in an otherwise realistic (often mundane) environment. Although it is most commonly used as a literary genre, magic realism also applies to film and the visual arts.” ~ Wikipedia
Magical realism is my favorite genre of literature. Think One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami or Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. All books I have read and loved.
I recently started reading the latest Murakami novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, and it felt like putting on a my favorite coat. It was a happy comfortable feeling; almost like coming home and naturally it got me thinking.
I understand why in “Steal Like an Artist” the author talks about the importance of side projects. Not only can they give creative inspiration to your work, but they can help you understand what you are doing and why. Connect the dots, so to speak. I am attracted to magical realism across multiple disciplines and it makes sense that I would want to recreate that feeling in my own work. I find it comforting that my artistic insanity is consistent.
In my opinion the Lego mini figure is well suited to this goal of magical realism. For many of us it has an instant connection to childhood memories as well as a place in our present lives. To have a toy that is so imbued with instant emotions, then free it from those boundaries and place it in unexpected location is a powerful tool. I want to help my viewer (and myself) to reclaim that sense of wonder and innocence that we associate with childhood. By placing the mini figure in unusual situations, I hope it will gain an aspect of magical realism that only comes from having a foot in two different worlds at the same time, the past and the present.
It is important to me that my Lego friends inhabit my world, not a world down a rabbit hole or a world created by someone else. I want them to be of my world, just a better, more magical version of my world.
My first encounter with magic realism was Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits, and I guess I would consider it my first love in this genre.
My first introduction was Life in the Time of Cholera. But I have also read Isabel Allende’s book and loved it. 😀