Domestic Surrealism

I know you know Magritte’s Pipe, which is not a pipe. So I am going straight to what I think we need to do.

“This is not a…” has become an internet meme as powerful as the line “This is not what you think it is!”

Banksy used it:


Even Kim Kardashian is a fan (though I doubt she’s aware of the primary source).

Kim KardashianOut in Hollywood, CAJuly 3, 2008

Frankly, if there’s one thing I care least, it is the debate whether art represents life or is life itself. I care about the changing or second meaning of things. It’s more fun.

I think we can keep building on the great master’s idea, making it relevant today. That’s a set from the times when I was a teenager:


What are the objects that have a double meaning for you?

Let me know, I’ll add them to the gallery, with full credits, and many thanks!


  1. Meaning or function? The examples you’ve given are based on extending the functionality of objects. Many household and DIY tips are based on using things for different purposes, like ‘this is not a condiment – this is a cleaning substance’ (vinegar, baking soda).
    Here are a couple of examples which go further than function because of the context they are used in –
    ‘this is not a fig leaf, this is a garment’
    ‘this is not a car, this is a penis extension’
    So we arrive at the threshold of semiotics – fascinating area!

  2. Magritte’s point was that it wasn’t a pipe, it was a painting of a pipe, so Banksy’s work was slightly off-target and more about cynicism. But the dual purpose idea is always fun to contemplate.

It would be grand to hear from you now!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: