|This is not a pipe.|
Surrealism is a major cultural movement that shot off of Dada after the World War 1. This was a movement in many forms of media, and officially began with the publication of poet André Breton's Manifesto of Surrealism. He, and other poets like him, drew influence from the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. Instead of causing them to "admire" their daughters or overthrow the Russian czar, these new ideas caused them to try and create the mixture of reason and the unexpected. These poets admired the works of artist Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, and their work was seen a major precursor to surrealist art.
Surrealist art was obsessed with showing the weird and the confusing with extreme amount of precision. Now, I write my blog entries like production companies remake horror movies, lets cherry-pick the best and brightest of Surrealism. One of the early pioneers was German artist Max Ernst. He became interested in psychology and mental illness after a short stint in college. After he was fought for the Germans during WW1, his art became increasingly abstract. He, like Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, saw art a way of apposing the warfare that had caused him so much distress. Ernst had also been a major player in the Dada movement, and he helped form the translation between the two styles. Some of his works include the Elephant Celebes (c. 1921) and the Fireside Angel (c.1937) which is seen below.
For me, the pinnacle of what surrealism can bring us is René Magritte. Magritte was a belgian artist who made thought-provoking images that transfixed new meanings to common items. While Ernst made images that didn't quite make sense, Magritte actively tried to make images that absolutely didn't resonated within the mind of the viewer. He made a series of images that involved painting a simple object, often a pipe or apple, and then wrote at the bottom of the painting that that was not a pipe or apple respectively. The idea behind it was it was an image of an apple, not a real apple. This would resemble the existentialist movement that was propagated by the likes of Albert Camus and Martin Heidegger. Other works by Magritte would actively push the boundaries on what people would comprehend. He would often paint everyday plain jane objects and throw something different in there. I'm talking about having a train coming out of fireplace, men raining from the sky and shoes with toes on them, thus predicting a recent trend in "fashion".
While there are many other artist that I could cover, including Joan Miró and possible Spongebob villain Man Ray, I would like to close out this conversation by talking about one of the most famous members of the surrealist movement, Salvador Dali. Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dali de Pubol was one of the most unique artist to ever walk the earth. His exploits were legendary. He once went went to costume party with his wife dressed as the Lindbergh baby and his kidnapper; he became friends with Alice Cooper after using him as a model several times; he would never pay for anything, opting to draw on the receipt instead. He is best known for the painting known as the Persistence of Memory which showed clocks melting under the hot sun.
|time keeps on slippin'|
The Menil Collection in Houston, Tx has a permanent collection on Surrealism
André Breton's Manifesto of Surrealism
The Ernst Museum in Budapest, Hungary
The Musée Magritte Museum in Brussels, Belgium
The Dali Museum in St. Pettersberg, Florida
Female Surrealist artists
Surrealistic Love poems
Dada, Surrealism and their Heritage by William S. Rubin
Subversive art, Dada to present
Surrealism and Comedy