- To get a full understanding on the movement Surrealism I looked at videos on YouTube to see what the inspiration was of the artists in said movement.
- The idea of free association which is designed to reveal the unconscious mind – use of irrational juxtaposition of images
- Art form that is freed from constraints
- Consisting of bizarreness and creativity, not something you see in daily life
- Surrealism was about self-exploration, and liberating starting points for exploration of personal fantasies
- Emphasis on content and free form, surrealism provided a major alternative to the contemporary, highly formalistic cubist movement
- Work consists a sense of realism though it’s nonsensical for example below:
THE TEMPTATION OF SAINT ANTHONY, 1946 BY SALVADOR DALI
I take interest in Surrealism and feel it suits to the theme I’m wanting within my illustrations and soon sculpture/s. I love the beautiful abnormality within his work and many other surreal artists. Though I’m doing the figure I feel this gives me an insight in how I could view my future piece/s for later on, I like the idea of my work revealing the unconscious mind. I want to show through my figure/s how disorders would appear, disorders are psychological and the idea is to express something that’s unnatural and fantasy like.
THE BURNING GIRAFFE, 1937 BY SALVADOR DALI
- I feel this relates as it involves the figure and gives you a sense of chaos, whether it’s the figure being held by what seems like stilts and drawers falling in front. This gives me a sense of uneasiness and instability, which makes me think of anxiety.
- This figure being in central and consists with the most detail, it then leads your eyes to the figure on the right then the giraffe silhouette which is in flames.
- The silhouette of the giraffe in the background set in flames also gives you a sense of chaos, the black stands against the bold blue and the red flames really draw your eyes to its attention.
- The figure is tall and has no expression on its face but by the way the figure is composed it appears helpless and powerless.
- The figures look awkward and uncomfortable as if they’re grounded to the floor.
RENE MAGRITTE, THE LOVERS 1928
- The elements that make up this painting are the and the lovers, two figures with their faces covered by a white cloth, locked in a ambiguous setting and unable to to truly communicate or touch gives a sense that its a kiss of denied love.
- The deathlike cloth keeps the two figures forever apart and as such create an atmosphere of mystery.
- The painting itself is rather bland however simply covering the faces with veils makes it more interesting and provoking. The psychological impact however is far greater with all these elements.
- The man is wearing black which is commonly associated with death which that may be representative of and the woman is dressed in red which may mean love or passion
- The veils are a whitish or grayish colour and this could also represent the purity that is fading between them, perhaps they love one another but it’s simply not meant to be.
This piece really intrigued me and makes me come up with my own narrative, though the image is quite plain but simply due to the veils it makes it that much more interesting. Though not as relevant to the artists piece but when looking at the veils I can see it working again as inspiration towards my work, I feel veils or anything covering the body shows entrapment and again gives me a sense of anxiety.
I also like the colour psychology to this work, it really makes you think. I see two lovers that want to be together or may love each other but the veils hold them back and reveals that it’s not meant to be.
THE BROKEN COLUMN, 1944 BY FRIDA KAHLO
- In this painting it shows pain and suffering, Frida expressed her anguish ans suffering in a most straightforward and horrifying way. The nails are stuck into her face and whole body. A split in her torso which looks like an earthquake fissure. In the background is the earth with dark ravines. At the beginning she paint herself nude but later covered her lower part up with something looks like a hospital sheet. A broken column is put in place of her spine. The column appears to be on the verge of collapsing into rubble. Penetrating from loins to chin, the column looks phallic, and the sexual connotation is all the more obvious because of the beauty of Frida’s breasts and torso.
- This painting Frida looks pretty and strong. Although her whole body is supported by the corset, she is conveying a message of spiritual triumph. She has tears on her face but she look straight ahead and is challenging both herself and her audience to face her situation.
Looking at this art work, it’s quite graphic but not in a disturbing sense it has a child-like quality. It illustrates more of a feeling than literal, a way of getting her point across on how she is feeling rather than to shock for example she is tore in half but no blood in sight. The expression on her face appears upset but stern and with her being central in the image she looks at the viewer directly in the eye to provoke and make you feel how she was feeling at this time.
It appears on her body that the things that are tearing her apart are also keeping her together, she’s torn in half with bondage holding her together. A broken column standing tall and central again with only this bondage keeping it from crumbling apart, it gives you a sense of suffering and distress.
THE FACE OF WAR, 1940 BY SALVADOR DALI
- This was a difficult year due to World War II, Dali was inspired by this traumatic period and painted The Face of War, which essentially depicts a frightening, brownish face, which represents the ugliness of war.
- The brownish colours he used evoke a sense of desperation and misery.
- The face/s appear very organic/warped and disoriented.
- The face makes you look deeper into the subjects facial features which then ends with a small skull which I feel represents death.
- It looks as if through the facial features that it’s showing stages of the face tearing apart to bone.
- The use of serpents symbolises Satan and the presence of evil. Snakes strip and suffocate and I feel this shows how Dali was feeling at the time he made this.
Throughout Surrealism it consists a massive amount of symbolism and imagery to provoke emotion, rather than just the appearance of the disorders matching to the disorders symptoms could I show it on a more personal level the way these artists do? All the artwork above makes me create narrative in my head and I’m inspired by imagery they use.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Symbolism – the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. An artistic and poetic movement or style using symbolic images and indirect suggestion to express mystical ideas, emotions, and states of mind.