I can actually pinpoint the start of my love affair with surrealist art. Like any great meet-cute, it began at a museum — Paris’ Centre Georges Pompidou, the largest modern art museum in Europe. I was in the self-discovery years of college, flightily trying on interests and hobbies that often didn’t stick. But when I stepped into Centre Pompidou’s collection of modern and contemporary art, something resonated deep inside me, lighting a spark that would grow into a full-fledged, lifelong devotion.
Surrounded by surrealist works from the likes of Rene Magritte, Giorgio de Chirico, Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and Max Ernst, I had never so deeply identified with an art movement. It was as if these artists had translated my thoughts and dreams into something tangible — and here it all was, waiting for me to discover it.
For hours and hours, I wandered through the museum’s halls in a rapturous daze, stumbling upon each new room and art piece with embarrassingly childish delight. After stalking my new crushes from one gallery to the next, I finally tore myself away, departing with a long, melancholic look back at the grand, late-modernist building, but feeling euphoric with the knowledge that I had begun a beautiful, lasting relationship.