Surrealism is a way to express the subconscious mind, which is a vast well of creativity. To do that on paper or canvas, you must understand how this art movement began.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, there was a growing sense of unease in French society. The world was changing quickly and people were starting to feel anxious. This anxiety gave rise to Surrealism, an artistic movement dedicated to freeing the subconscious mind.
Tristan Tzara and Andre Breton led the Surrealist movement in Paris while others like Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali brought it to life through their paintings, poetry and other creative pursuits.
Surrealism has influenced all types of media including music, film and television as well as fine art. It also helped define Abstract Expressionism (sometimes referred to as Ab Ex), which is another popular form of art that’s less about realism than emotional expression.
This blog is all about surrealism for artists and how it can help you gain inspiration for your own work. It’s a follow up from my post about abstract expressionism and cubism . I hope you enjoy the posts!**
If you are an artist and want to improve your work, surrealism can help. It can show you a new way to look at your work, a new way to think about it. But it will only help if you are serious about it. Surrealism is not for dabblers, or people who want to incorporate it into their own work without understanding what it is.
Trying to incorporate surrealism without understanding it is like trying to incorporate a foreign language without knowing what it means. You can muck around with labeling things as this or that, but unless you understand how the words fit together, you won’t really be using the language.
It is not easy to learn surrealism. It’s not like learning a few new tricks for painting clouds or trees or rocks so they look more like clouds or trees or rocks. And there are no rules, exactly; some things that seem obviously true in one context turn out not to be true in another one. When you start learning any language there are plenty of exceptions before you even get to the irregular verbs. And there are different schools of thought about what exactly surrealism is.
I write about how surrealism can help you be a better artist, or create more interesting art. I also talk about art history and theory, like the writings of Andre Breton, and other related topics.
The art of Surrealism is a celebration of the dream state and its transformation into reality. In the beginning, Surrealism was described as “psychic automatism in its pure state” in 1924 by Andre Breton, the founder and leader of the movement. The Surrealists wanted to push beyond their conscious limitations and tap into the realm of imagination and dreams, which they felt was vital to an improved society. They believed that just as science had discovered new worlds through technology, there were unexplored worlds within each human that could be discovered through these methods.
The Surrealists believed that they could alter their perception of reality through these methods in order to access a more enlightened world. They were fascinated by the power of dreams and how they could create powerful artwork using this inspiration. Most importantly, the Surrealists felt that their artwork could effect social change for the better.
It took some time for the artists to agree upon the best method for achieving this goal, but most settled on “automatic writing”, also known as stream-of-consciousness writing. This technique allowed artists to bypass their rational minds and tap directly into their subconscious mind where most of our thoughts originate anyway. It’s what allows us to have spontaneous ideas and creativity when we sleep or day
Surrealists were famous for their art. Their main purpose was to express themselves, to be “true to the dream,” as they used to say. But at the same time, you couldn’t get away with anything in the surrealist movement. It was a very disciplined, self-policing artistic movement.
Totally opposed in spirit to what we tend to expect from the word “art” today, where any old scribbles on a canvas or in a notebook are called “art” if someone decides they are, and then it’s up to the buyer whether or not he wants to buy them.
The surrealists called that kind of art “retinal,” because all it does is stimulate your retina, and nothing else. And they called it “parasitic” because it doesn’t give anything back to the viewer.
The surrealists believed that true art gives back something new and exciting and surprising, something that didn’t exist before you saw the picture or sculpture or poem or dance or whatever. Something that changes your life somehow, even if it’s only for a moment.
That’s why their art is so often strange and disturbing and weird — it’s trying to surprise you into seeing things in a new way.”
Surrealism is an artistic movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members. Surrealist artworks feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact.
Towards the beginning of his career, Salvador Dalí often used ‘Surrealism’ to describe his works publicly, and even went as far as to create a few self-proclaimed works of ‘Surrealism’, such as The Enigma of William Tell (1934) or Meta-Suicide (1937), which were not notably Surrealist in nature.
It wasn’t until the 1939 Paris International Surrealist Exhibition that André Breton explicitly defined the aims of Surrealism in his Manifesto of Surrealism: “pure psychic automatism”.
Though Surrealism has been dismissed by some critics since its rise in popularity after World War II, there has been a recent resurgence in critical interest. Since then, there have been numerous exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world.
The original meaning of surrealist was something