As a cultural movement, Surrealism began in the early 1920s and it is best known for its visual artworks and writings. While the former brought forward illogical scenes with photographic precision, the latter contained automatic writing and accounts of dreams.
According to the dictionary, Surrealism is “pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation”.
Strongly influenced by Sigmund Freud, Surrealism expanded to other creative fields such as theatre, music and film.
In visual arts the premise was that artists should seek access to their unconscious mind in order to make art inspired by this realm. Among the famous painters that sympathised with the movement were Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and Rene Magritte.
On the contemporary art scene there are many artists who explore Surrealist themes while also experimenting with modern techniques such as dry brush or digital art. The latter is the perfect medium to create complex images in surreal contexts based on the artist’s imagination and unconscious mind.
“I take ideas from around and within me, using intuition and imagination to create a new context. Much of my work stems from my subconscious, where I see actions, events and ideas as particular images and colours. As some music can take on a different meaning after it has left the composer’s pen, I encourage the viewer to create their own story about the meaning of the picture”, says Art2Arts artist Van Renselar.