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My first reaction to this painting when I saw it first many years back was ‘what do you mean this is not a pipe?? What is it?’ It’s sounds like a smart asses’ answer but it doesn’t make it less true: as you probably know it’s an image of a pipe. Not the same as the actual pipe. What might be obvious once you are in on the joke in terms of art is often downright forgotten in daily life. We think our images of the world are the exact reality. We treat our painting of reality as actual reality. We see a person but more often than not we see some past version of that person that we have constructed based on limited experience. This is not always a bad thing. But if we find it hard to give someone the benefit of the doubt, remembering Magritte’s famous painting might help get us back on track.