Art: Magical Realism Essay

May 9, 2021 by Essay Writer

What Is A Magical Realism?

Magical realism is a style of literature that was used in the 1920s to refer to the school of painters, which was an extraordinary thing that people in their day-to-day life experienced. It is a myth, fantasy, reality, and magic all combined. The term magical realism is often confused with expressionism and surrealism. Expressionism is an art’s style meant to show or reveal some human feelings, for example, expressing sadness, poverty, happiness, and depression (García 45).

In 1903, Picasso came up with the work, The Blind’s Man Meal, which showed the meaning of expressionism and magical realism. He expressed how poor the blind man is. Surrealism is an art and literature movement; contrary to the dream where one shows the at he or she thinks by presenting images. Magical realism, therefore, is expressionism where an individual expresses his or her feelings freely. In magical realism, for example, the feeling one expresses in dancing is happiness while in certain music the feeling expressed is sorrowfulness (Eugenia 16-20).

Development of Magical Realism

Several people who are authors in the world have created the term magical realism, which has received global acceptance. For many years, the term has been used in America, Africa, Australia, and Europe. The term was seen as regional literature limited to the Latin American writers but it has been widened to be seen as a worldwide phenomenon.

Also, it is the latest development of the latest centuries and is seen as a modern fiction internationally (Eugenia 16-20). The concept of loreal Maravillas was introduced in 1949 to the Americans where the foundations of magical realism were traced from the art world. In this essay, the concept was criticized analytically based on its theoretical movement, cultures and text citations from Latin America, Australia, Africa and Asia (Franz 2).

In this essay, the development of magical realism focuses on Latin America, which is traced back from the discovery of America. Most of the authors of this subject are Latin Americans. Tzvetan Todorov wrote about Columbus in 1492 arguing that America is a miraculous world with a lot of magic. The different narratives he had seen while traveling had influenced Columbus, and due to this, he had imaginary views of America. He said that he saw men and women with animal heads and were masculine respectively (Eugenia 22).

The German Franz Roh was the first man to use the term magical realism in an official way in 1925. He applied magical realism to the paintings he was studying. In addition, during the time, there arose many artists in Germany such as Otto Dix. Roh gave different criteria of the term magical realism and compared to the expressionism and the post-expressionism. In fact, the present-day definition of the term came from the categories that Roh gave (Eugenia 24).

Henri Rousseu in his paintings went deeper to explore magical realism. 1886-1910 was the period this French artist, explored the term. Other artists who explored this concept are Guenther from Austria in 1909, and Joan Miro in 1918, 1922s and 1930s in Paris whose paintings were criticized as naive (Eugenia 25).

Giorgio De Chirico from Italy was seen as the most important magical realists by Roh in his attempt to prove the real things to be unreal in 1888 to 1978. He pioneered the 20th-century movement of magical realism. Forty years from 1920, other artists in Italy came up with their paintings and other arts, which expressed magical reality (Eugenia 26).

The decades between 1910 and 1940, saw the French artists express magical realism in their paintings, for instance, Pierre Roy. However, the aspect of magical realism went down when surrealism came to the board and focused by most artists (Eugenia 27).

George Grosz is another painter who used magical realism to express day-to-day life. The subjects of his paintings were drawn from daily life. Through his works, he wanted to show people the miracles and magic in the real world. In the year 1930, so many Latin American had explored magic realism (Addison 31). The painter Amaral from Brazil in 1886 to 1973 produced the works, which showed the magic realism. His works had features such as enormous arms and the use of strong colors (Eugenia 29).

Lino Spilimbergo is another painter from Argentina who drew arts of the physical nature of Argentina from 1896 to 1964. He used the magical realism style in his works. His works were there to show life in a real situation (Eugenia 29). In addition to the artists by men, other artworks by women were done in the magical realism style.

In the 1940s, many women became painters because by then, they had learned to be professional in different fields of study and art was among them. Georgia O’ Keeffe is one of the women artists from America who painted flowers that portrayed the body of a woman. This happened in the last century where the bones of animals she painted in the 1920s in Mexico had both the elements of magic and reality (Eugenia 30).

Apart from women painters, another group is the exiled professional artists from Mexico who made paints reflecting bible stories, for example, Leonora Carrington in 1940. To date, many artists, writers, and painters explore their subjects of study by use of magical realism. It has been a style of literature to make the theme more understandable and interesting (Eugenia 16-20).

Authors Who Have Used Magical Realism and Their Works

Most of the well-known authors who used the style of magical realism in their works come from Latin America. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the many Latin American writers who used this style in his works. In his books, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Leaf Storm, In Evil Hour, and the pages of Macondo, Marquez used this style of literature extensively. Although he said that he was trying to avoid overuse arguing that it is too limiting, it was unavoidable because the works were fictions. Gabriel who is a journalist was born in Colombia and won the Nobel Prize in 1982 for Literature. He is a pioneer of the Latin America Boom.

Other well-known authors who used magical realism as a style of realism to express fiction in their books are Sarah Addison who wrote about an apple tree, which produces magical fruits. The book is entitled Garden Spells, Haruki Murakami’s book entitled Kafka on The Shore, which was about two teenage boys who went away from home and a Mexican Laura Esquivel’s book entitled Like Water for Chocolate. The book’s theme is romance (García 1).

Works Cited

Addison, Spells. The Garden Spells. Java: Bantam Publishers, 2007. Print.

Eugenia, Michell. Magical Realism and Latin America: A Masters Project. Maine: University of Maine, 2003. Print.

Franz, Roh. Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995. Print.

García, Gabriel. Good Reads: The Popular Magic Realism Books. Bones: Good reads Inc, 2012. Print.

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