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Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy a French surrealist painter was born in Paris on January 5 1900 Although born in Paris his parents were Breton His father was a sea captain When his father died in 19058 Tanguy went to live with relatives in the province of Brittany He spent his summers on the coast of the Atlantic By looking at his paintings it is evident that this made a great impression on him It was also thought that he had a deep attachment for his mother Tanguy returned to Paris he attended the Lycee Montaigne and later the Lycee St Louis until 1917 One of his classmates was the son of Henri Matisse Pierre During this time Tanguy neglected his studies Had he not been such a loner he would have fit right into the role of class rebel Instead of studying Tanguy drank heavily and delved into drug use by sniffing ether This might explain his dreamlike quality to his paintings Tanguy during this period actually showed very little interest in art however as a youth he was quite impressed with an artist by the name of Toche How this man would take his brushes and easels to the Paris streets and remain completely oblivious to the stares of pedestrians passing by In 1918 he joined the Merchant Marine as an apprentice officer His travels take him to places such as South America Portugal Africa and England This may be where his paintings take on an aquatic feel at times as well as the lunar impression Then WWI came and he was drafted into the French Army Again his depression was lifted by a friendship with a poet who shared in his rebellion for authoritative figures His comrades were witnesses to his eccentric escapades For instance once he actually devoured his own socks just to shock people He often felt it necessary usually during drunken stupors to prove his superiority of his heritage by
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