Marilyn Wolpin, RTi’s Vice President of Graphic Services, recently attended a talk by a curator from the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, NY. Marilyn frequently attends art lectures, not only out of personal interest, but also for the shot of inspiration she can bring back to the office. The most recent lecture focused on Surrealism.  Surrealists are, for those of you who may have missed art history back in college, artists who paint unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, create strange creatures from everyday objects and employ painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself. Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequiturs.

Marilyn’s recap: The curator covered René Magritte (1898-1967, Belgium), a painter of visual puns – some of which you get right away, some leave you pondering what he possibly could have meant. Another well-known Surrealist is Edvard Munch (1863-1944, Norway), the painter of The Scream. Talk about your tortured artist: Munch’s art was an absolute reflection of his inner turmoil. In the category of artists you may never have heard of is Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908-2001, Poland/Switzerland), otherwise known as Balthus. Balthus liked to shake his fist in the face of convention, both in his artistic and personal life. His paintings can be interpreted as disturbing or amusing, or both. Whether you agree with his perspective or not, Balthus certainly gives the viewer something to think about. And then there was Giuseppi Arcimboldo (1526-1593, Italy), a painter from a much earlier century who is best known for creating imaginative portraits made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books. He was even clever enough to create pieces of art that could be seen as one thing straight up and another if you turned it upside down. It is astounding to think he was able to achieve such master works without the aid of computers or other modern tools.

We love it when our staff seeks outside inspiration for their work. It brings renewed energy, creative ideas, and a more worldly perspective to our market research and marketing science. As the person in charge of making sure that all our graphics are crisp, easy to read, and absolutely clear in their message, Marilyn shares photographic precision with the Surrealists. However, in the mathematical clarity and aesthetic virtuosity that Marilyn brings to her work, she is more likely to be referred to around here as our own modern day Leonardo Da Vinci.