Elements Of Surrealism

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Many artists are influenced by specific theories or ideas in their practice; especially the artists of the surrealism movement, who gathered their inspiration from dreams, nightmares and images from the subconscious, but also through the ideas of psychologist Sigmund Freud. This allowed their paintings to be extensions of their mind. The end of the Dada movement allowed the birth of the surrealism movement in Europe during the 1920’s, which began with a French poet, named Andre Breton, who wrote the ‘Surrealist Manifesto’, which described how he wanted to combine the conscious and subconscious into a new reality. Surrealism was a way artists were able to use their ‘inner mind’ and complex symbolism to create meaning in their artworks.

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Techniques that were exclusive to surrealist art included levitation, scale, transparency, dislocation, transformation and repetitions. These techniques were used to create a ‘typical’ surrealist look. The juxtaposition of objects that would not normally be placed together was very common amongst surrealism art. This was used to show a metaphor or to convey a certain meaning in the artwork. Some surrealists used a technique called ‘objective chance’, which used images found in nature that could not be imitated by an artist, for example, graphite rubbings of tree bark, a technique which is known as…show more content…
In addition, the majority of the surrealists tended to use more a traditional means of painting, i.e. realism, instead of the free use of colour, brushstroke and technique as used by earlier artists. The use of realism was to make the audience question if the objects were real or imitations and to make them look like photographs. Artists like Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte used oil paints on canvas in a realism style. For example, in their paintings ‘The Persistence of Memory’ and ‘The Lovers’ (1928), they chose a realistic style with surreal images. Dali’s subject matter explored things like melting clocks, which could represent the flexibility of dreams/time or that memories last forever; a pool of water in the background, which could represent the drug induced hallucinations in the quest to enter the subconscious; a sleeping face, which could symbolise how Dali’s ideas came from his

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