The Surreal Art Portfolio provides you with a guide to defining Surrealism art. Surrealism art and the literary movement really began in the 1920’s as an expression of the subconscious. Surrealist writers and artists that dabbled in the surreal felt that opening up the mind superseded the need for realism, and in fact, was a necessary component of artistic expression.
Surrealism can be challenging, as the paintings don’t seem to have a cohesive methodology upon first glance. But there is a method in the madness of our favorite Surrealist artists.
Surrealism developed out of Dadaism, the movement that created the antidote to more traditional art in the years leading up to and during WWI. Dadaism protested war with its unconventional, angry art. Dada and Surrealism are similar in that they both feature alternative approaches to artistic expression, early forms of outsider art that were outside the norm of more established art. Surrealism stands alone because of its positive outlook- it lacks the defiance found in earlier Dada efforts. Surrealism is grounded in the notion that it is acceptable to defy the norms of culture and religious tradition, but it can be done in a way that’s exuberant and joyful.
You might find Surrealism confusing at first, but it’s all a matter of perspective. Allow yourself to open up and experience recommended and favorite Surrealist art from our readers, and you might be surprised at how much you can learn from the movement that revolutionized the art world.
The portfolio of Surrealism art includes comments and perspectives from Anthony Pierpont of St. Paul Minnesota, who introduces us to Surrealism, Jack Adler of Decatur Georgia, who introduces us to some of his favorite Surrealist artists and Lonnie Jefferson of Phoenix, Arizona who tells us why Surrealist art might be the right investment for you.
The Strangeness of Surreal Art Makes it a Favorite by Anthony Pierpont of St. Paul, Minnesota
Surprisingly strange and sometimes just a surprise, Anthony Pierpont comments that “Surrealist art became a favorite of mine in school. At the time, I wanted to defy tradition and championed any artist or writer who was willing to speak up and against societal norms. Surrealism fit the bill perfectly with its wild use of colors and depiction of subjects. My love for Surreal painters and their art didn’t evaporate after school. In fact, Surrealist art is still my favorite, because now my appreciation and knowledge of the art form has opened my mind to possibilities and thoughts that I would not have had as a young man.”
There are a few things you need to understand to identify the best outsider art that’s available for sale today. First, understand that there is a cohesive message to be found in Surrealism. It isn’t just wild colors or shapes strewn irresponsibly onto paper or canvas. If you’re looking at a piece of popular art by a contemporary artist, you should see and feel a strong message emanating from the work. Second, startling colors and the juxtaposition of elements in a painting typify Surrealism. Look for bold colors and unusual lines in Surrealist art, like something you might see in a dream.
Finally, the selection and placement of objects is a dead giveaway that you’ve found a Surrealist work of art. Surrealism is where you’ll find objects like a toothbrush placed next to a car or a fish on top of an elephant. It might seem odd at first, but it’s perhaps the most important and significant aspect of Surrealism- the ability to shock us, surprise us, cause us to ask why and why not, and, as important please our eye.
Popular Traditional and Contemporary Surreal Artists amd Painters Changed Art History by Jack Adler of Decatur, Georgia
Popular contemporary Surrealist artists of the 20th century got their start in the cafes of Paris but the movement soon started springing up all over the world. Noted poet Andre Breton defined the movement, authoring The Surrealist Manifesto in 1924. In the Manifesto, Breton spoke of the madness of the Surrealist movement, and how a type of madness had influenced many great explorers and thinkers of the ages. “Beloved imagination, what I most like in you is your unsparing quality,” Breton declared in the Manifesto, and thus the Surrealist artists found their champion and their niche in art history.
Max Ernst – Dadaist and Co-Founder of Surrealism
German born Max Ernst (1891-1976) was a Dadaist and one of the founders of Surrealism. Ernst moved to Paris in 1922 and immersed himself in the Surrealist movement. He challenged himself by pioneering new painting techniques, including frottage (graphite rubbings of objects onto paper) and grattage (scraping oil paint from canvases laid over objects like wire mesh, buttons and twine). Ernst’s resulting works laid rest to the notion that everyday aspects of nature were ordinary. The surreal fantasy creatures, doves and forests he painted showed a skewed view of the world around us. Ernst later became a popular contemporary artist, as he began creating more traditional sculptures with widespread appeal in the 50’s.
Salvador Dali – Inspired and Apolitical Surrealist Artist
Spain’s Salvador Dali (1904-1989) is one of our favorite Surrealist artists. He embraced a form of the madness spoken of by Breton in his works, while defiantly claiming that he wasn’t mad- only inspired. Curiously, Dali’s apolitical views led to his expulsion during the 1930’s from the group of Surrealists led by Breton, who had invited him to join them in Paris only a few short years before. Influenced heavily by friend Sigmund Freud, Dali’s early work is greatly affected by Freud’s psychoanalytic theories. In keeping with the Surrealist movement, Dali incorporated Freud’s ideas about dreams and the subconscious mind and the resulting symbolism into his paintings. Dali’s later, more traditional works, were ascribed to his newfound interests in religion and popular contemporary art. During the 50’s, Dali created textile designs, perfume bottles and fashion designs for important designers of the day like Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli.
Adding Surreal Art Paintings to Your Art Investment Portfolio Nets Profits by Dr. Brett Ferdinand of Montreal, Canada
Add Surrealist art to your art investment portfolio to give your earnings a boost. Surrealism is more popular than ever today, and has spawned several off-shoots, including the Situationists, political anti-artists who use graffiti, abstract art and installations and the Massurrealists, who mix Surrealist images with mass media. Surrealism isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s sit up and make-you-take-notice art that’s directed towards discerning art lovers.
Quality art appreciates over time. Investors recommend that you hold on to a piece of art for a minimum of ten years before attempting to sell to realize the biggest bump in your investment portfolio. The Mei/Moses Fine Art Index claims quality art has been a more profitable investment than stocks and bonds for decades.
Look for Surrealists and Surrealist-inspired painters who are relatively new to the art scene when you’re ready to buy, and be willing to take a risk- it might just result in huge dividends.
We thank our contributors:
- Anthony Pierpont of St. Paul, Minnesota
- Jack Adler of Decatur, Georgia
- Dr. Brett Ferdinand of Montreal, Canada