Surrealism began in the mid-twentieth century as a philosophical and artistic movement that sought to explore the workings of the mind and champion the irrational.
The namesake of surrealism comes from the word ‘surrealist,’ meaning ‘beyond reality.’
This art form is aimed to revolutionise the human experience. It’s a rejection of the rational visions that appear in our life, instead favouring the value of the unconscious and dreams.
Are you looking to introduce surreal art into your home?
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for you to discover this awesome method of artistic expression.
Let’s get dreamy.
A Brief History of Surrealism
The world ‘surrealist’ was invented by avant-garde French poet Guillaume Apollinaire in an early 20th-century play.
Andre Breton later sought to define the word in his 1924 Surrealist Manifesto where he claimed that surrealism was the expression of the ‘real functioning of thought.’
By releasing control exercised by reason and moral preoccupation, Breton believed that surrealist art could access a truer understanding of the human conscious mind.
Surrealism quickly became an international movement attractive to writers, artists, photographers, and filmmakers.
Some of the most notable surrealist painters include Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, and Frida Kahlo.
These individuals were masters of using art to create a strange or dreamlike landscape that spoke to the deep intuitions of human emotion, and have inspired generations of artists to follow them with incredibly original surrealist works.
Automatism to Produce Surrealism
Surrealism is not an artistic style.
It’s an artistic movement.
Surrealist artworks cannot be contained by characterizations of imagery, colour choices, or techniques.
The movement is all about building out bizarre and uncanny imagery across endless mediums and styles.
To do this, surrealist artists focus on illustrating the mind’s deepest thoughts right as they surface to the conscious mind.
This process is known as ‘automatism.’
Does surrealist art produced by automatism contain a power that creates and represents a ‘superior reality,’ as Breton would have it?
You’ll have to explore surrealist artworks and judge for yourself.
Features of Surrealist Art Inspired by Dreams
Are you intrigued, haunted, or moved by your dreams?
You can bring that uncanny feeling into your living space, creating a sense of the unknown and unattainable into your home.
The primary features of surrealist art are sourced from our dreams.
Here’s what you can expect from an outstanding piece of surrealist artwork:
- Dream-like landscapes filled with symbolic images that represent our deepest fears and desires
- Unexpected, illogical juxtapositions that bring together aspects of our lives that are usually considered separate
- Bizarre assemblages of once-ordinary objects
- A feeling of spontaneity produced by a dedicated to automatism
- Personal artist iconography and visual puns
- Distorted images and biomorphic shapes designed to create a sense of instability and deeper meaning
- Uninhibited suxuality and other taboo subjects
- Primitive and/or childlike designs that reveal the foundation of our minds
No matter what techniques surrealists use, they are very invested in the irrational (just like your dreams probably are!)
For those who believe in the power of surrealism, rationality is not productive.
Only through the complete rejection of rationality do surrealists believe that we can access a completely different realm than the one that exists exclusively in our rational minds.
If irrationality is a part of you, then you might just identify as a surrealist.
Every day we are faced with images and situations that make ‘sense.’ But could we be limited by our minds?
And, more importantly, can surrealist art overcome that veil of rationality and access the deeper parts of our beings?
Many people believe so.
Figurative vs. Abstract Surrealism
There are two primary types of surrealist artists: Figurative and Abstract (or, biomorphic).
Figurative surrealist artists produce recognizable and representational art.
These artists use foundational techniques sourced from realism to render startling, hallucinatory scenes that tap into our deepest subconscious.
Abstract surrealists, on the other hand, seek to break free entirely from artistic conventions.
These works often contain unidentifiable and undefined shapes and symbols that serve to upend all notions of ‘reality.’
While both figurative and abstract surrealists are tapping into dreamlike structures, the way they do so is different.
Are you a figurative or abstract dreamer?
Depending on your answer, you might have a better idea of what surrealist art speaks most truly to you.
How to Find the Best Surrealist Art
When it comes to buying art online, it’s all about finding paintings that make you feel something.
No matter what type of painting you are introducing into your home, an outstanding painting can change your life forever.
Introducing surrealist art, in particular, can inject personality and the truest representations of the inner workings of your conscious (and subconscious!) into your living space.
Discovering mesmerizing artwork is fun.
One of the greatest parts of surrealist artworks is their versatility.
Place them as a centerpiece in the living room or nail up a small print to enhance the personality of your bathroom—nothing is off-limits.
Are you ready to explore the workings of your mind and make your home feel dreamier?
Browse surreal artworks today!