September 28, 2015
Magritte’s influence on Lynch’s Red Room
After attending the Degas exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago a couple weeks back, I did a deep dive online of the French impressionist.
As Internet deep dives often go, I found my way elsewhere — specifically to this René Magritte Tumblr. And as I started scrolling, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between some of Magritte’s paintings and the Red Room from David Lynch’s cult classic Twin Peaks. (I was also considering buying this Red Room/Peanuts mashup t-shirt at the time, further connecting my brain between the two. )
First, the Red Room:
And the hallway between rooms:
The red curtains. Chevron black and white patterned floor. The sculptures.
Now consider Magritte’s 1926 piece entitled Primevere:
Red curtains, black and white checkered floor. The woman figure in this piece could also suggest the bizzaro Laura Palmer the viewer encounters in the Red Room — although maybe that’s a reach.
1948’s Memory also puts out some Red Room vibes with the red curtains and sculpture head:
A quick Google search for Lynch and Magritte turned up this Lynch quote:
I love Magritte. He’s one of my all-time favourites. I like a lot of his paintings. I just saw the Magritte show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and I was overwhelmed by The Menaced Assassin. You know the painting with two people hiding outside the door, inside the door there’s a woman on a doctor’s thing and there’s a phonograph? It’s a mysterious, beautiful thing.
Ren Morris also noticed the heavy influence of Magritte on Lynch, and connected other dots such as chess and owls in his paintings — both Twin Peaks motifs as well. And there’s this Laura Palmer-esque blond woman from Magritte’s The Ignorant Fairy (curtains, too!):
Lynch’s love for Magritte doesn’t come as much of surprise. Like Magritte, Lynch is a surrealist, bending the unconscious into the conscious, dreams into reality.