Son of Woman

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Debra Keirce

born 1961

21st Century Realist artist and miniaturist

Son of Woman

22 x 17 cms | 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 ins
oil

The surrealist painting “Son of Man” by Magritte is allegorical and full of symbolism. That’s what I love about surrealist paintings. So, I created “Son of Woman” with my own back stories. First, I titled this son of woman instead of man because I wanted to call attention to the feminine feelings and sensibilities. My allegory is about life and seeing the way to a bright future.
I love the beach. I felt like showing more of it than Magritte did in his piece. To me, water symbolizes strength,  and female cleansing, invigorating energies. Life began in water. I used a knit cap instead of a bowler hat, because women have been knitting and weaving clothes and accessories for hundreds of years in just about every culture on the planet. Providing warmth and comfort are traditional feminine strengths. I made my apple red because I personally love the honey crisp variety of apple, and I painted it until I wanted to take a bite out of it. 
Magritte wanted viewers to think about what is seen and what is known but not seen. We know that the model can see past the apple. I imagine he’s sizing up our future. We can guess what his face looks like and I believe it’s thoughtful and determined. No one is sure why, but Magritte painted his model’s left arm so that it bends backward in an unnatural pose. That makes me uncomfortable, and I wanted my painting to be happy and hopeful. So, I tucked my model’s left arm behind as part of the unseen in my piece. Maybe it makes you wonder what he’s got up his sleeve and whether a slight of hand is taking place.
I used my daughter’s boyfriend as my model. I showed him Magritte’s painting and asked him to come dressed to pose for me. He is home from college for the summer, and didn’t have dress pants so he wore jeans. He was fresh out of dress shirts, but he did have a red tie and a suit coat, which he casually buttoned using only the top button. This struck me as so Generation Z I had to laugh. Wikipedia says Gen Z people are loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, responsible and determined. Having grown up with the internet, they are savvy with technology and excel at teleworking. Can’t you just picture this person closing a multi million dollar deal on a Zoom conference call wearing this attire? 
To me, the red of the apple and tie symbolize a bright and adventuresome future. This generation looks past fashion and cultural norms to tackle the seen and unseen issues, using technology and resources we’ve never had before. With the strength and invigorating energies behind them, our Gen Z sons and daughters are destined to take this world to new heights. 
INspired by:
The Son of Man
by Rene’ Magritte
1964
Oil on Canvas
Private Collection