What Am I Looking At?

Surrealism, how do you explain what is? A bunch of objects random objects put together in a way that does not make sense (kind’ve like a Lady Gaga music video). Surrealism began in the 1920’s by writers and artist who “sought to channel the unconscious as a means to unlock the power of the imagination”. It was founded by Andre Barton and was later influenced by Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. Surrealism went past writing and art to also be in music, movies, and philosophies.  I was first introduced to this type of art in seventh grade. I had to do a project for computer graphics where you created a surreal setting. Here are some examples of surreal works:

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

The Son Of Man by Rene Magritte

Metamorphosis of  Narcissus by Salvador Dali

Harlequin’s Carnival by Joan Miro

Surrealism uses meany techniques, some of them include:

Collage: assembling different form to create a whole

Decalcomania: spreading thick paint on a canvas, then covering it with some material such as paper or foil while it is still wet. The material is later removed to reveal a pattern.

Fumage: smoke of a candle or lamp or used to leave impressions on a canvas.

Eclaboussure: paints are ;aid down and water or turpentine are splattered. The painting is then soaked completely, revealing splatters and dots.

Grattage: paint is scrapped off the canvas to reveal the imprint placed underneath.

Surrealism still influences artist today, some of  it could be seen through surrealist web design. Web designers use real 3-D objects, then rearrange and restructure them to create a picture.

Easier Than Reading

Easier Than Reading

Vauxhall Collective

Vauxhall Collective

Adobe Creative Suite 3


To be honest, the earlier work of surrealism makes me feel odd, the same way I felt watching the Teletubbies. It reminds me of dolls and clowns, something that should not be scary, but gives off  a creepy feeling. This is known as the uncanny valley, when something gets too similar to a human being that the likeness of it goes down. However I’m not sure if that can be attributed to a painting as well.

I often wonder what made these artists come up with such ideas. I don’t think that they are that pleasing to the eye, however they do make you think. Is there a hidden meaning behind all this , what should I get out of it? I think that is over analyzing it. Surrealism is the understanding people get out of their dreams while trying to mix it with what is real. I don’t know, but the last time I tried to understand one of my dreams I just ended up wasting my time because I got nowhere. I don’t want to repeat some of those of those dreams ( I watched Chucky when I was too young and I ended up having about three dreams with him in it).

Surrealism helped people to avoid seeing art so literal, and to this day is still influencing artists. It gives people a freedom of expressing themselves without being confined to what is real. You will never know what to expect with Surrealism, the possibilities are endless.




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