Baby giant | Leonora Carrington | 1947
Leonora Carrington was born in England. She studies there and, fascinated by Max Ernst’s work in the International Surrealist Exhibition, falls in love with him, before even met him (if you ask me, a bad decision). A year later, she was introduced to him and they begin their relationship.
Second World War broke out and Ernst gets arrested in France by the Gestapo. With the aid of Peggy Guggenheim, the artist manages to escape to America, but he abandons Carrington with no support and nobody she could trust. Then she is the one who tries to leave Europe, but without any success: she is found in the British embassy in Madrid with a nervous breakdown, delusional and paralyzed by anxiety.
At the end, she gets to immigrate to Mexico, place where she still lives, and she perfects her artistic career in painting and in writing.
Carrington’s work is strange. Not just because she is a surrealist but because in almost all of her paintings, oversaturated by symbols, there is something twisted and scary. Baby giant is far from being an exception: it portraits a huge and disproportionate figure. His extremities, despite of the height, are tiny. His red head lights up an apocalyptic landscape and, all around him, there are birds that fly in circles, almost like they were protecting him. In his hands, he holds an egg, symbol that I’ve seen in other paintings by the artist and, probable, there lays the key of the picture.
The kind reader of the blog would hope a interpretation of this work, but I have to say that I can’t do it. It is really too much. I’ve looked for other points of view, but so far I didn’t find any interpretation that could make a little sense.
So Baby giant, to me, will remain a mystery… but probably this was Carrington’s intention.