Surrealism: An art movement founded in 1924 that sprung out of the push against rational thinking that was used in World War I. Its manifesto was created by Andre Breton. This style of art focused on the subconscious or dream imagery and a creative process that was often chaotic and unpredictable. It became popular in the 1920 and 1930 largely do to the work of Salvador Dali. At this time Sigmund Freud proposed ideas about unconscious thought and how it influenced human behavior. He promoted ideas of free association and dream analysis and believed these would work to reveal unconscious thought. Surrealists took these ideas and applied them to art (called automatism), often using free association activities to generate ideas. Some surrealists also used imagery from the real world to generate their dream-like imagery. These images where often realistic but nonsensical. These nonsensical images often used of symbols and carried meanings. The surrealists appreciated and often studied child and primitive art. Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech: The most famous surreal artist of all time who worked in a variety of mediums. He was known for his flamboyant personality and unusual behavior. He believed that in order to create his fantastic images that one needed to suspend rational thought and cultivate delusion (paranoiac-critical). His talent was recognized in 1925 at a one-man show in Barcelona. One of his best known works was The Persistence of Memory created in 1931. In 1940 he escaped the second world in Europe and broke with the surrealist movement. He often painted realistic landscapes in which bizarre things were happening. Rene Magritte: This Belgium is remembered as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century who found harsh criticism for his early work. A wallpaper designer and commercial artist known for depicting normal everyday things in bizarre manners. Often the bizarre quality of these paintings was caused by strange dislocations and ambiguity. Often this involved opposite states of being or dissimilar traits. Such as confusing between interiors and exterior spaces or fusing night and day. He also favored images of mirrors, eyes, windows, and stages to create problems of visual perception. Many of his paintings showed a man in a bowler hat. In 1912 Rene Magritte mother drowned herself. He marry a woman he met at the age of fifteen. In 1921 Magritte would briefly serve in the military. Confusing Perception: When you create an odd juxtaposition that causes the viewer to question the reality of what they see. Transparency is often used to achieve this. Surrealist Exercises: Surrealists had many methods for creating ideas for their dream imagery. Here are some of the more distinct. Exquisite Corpse: A drawing exercise where several artists get together and each do a part of the a drawing, the catch is that no one actually knows what the other drew. Each artist draws a portion of the picture and only reveals a very small section of the drawing to the next artist. The end result is a very odd juxtaposition of nearly unrelated parts. Free Association: This involves drawing whatever comes to your mind or how you feel. Sometimes you are not drawing anything in particular, other times you look at something for inspiration. But the heart and soul the technique is that you do not plan for anything; you draw as you go. Very similar to drawing to music. Dream Imagery: This involves looking to your dreams for reoccurring or powerful imagery. This is done by keeping a diary of your dreams. Every time you have a dream, write done the details as soon as you can. Look for ideas and patterns. Juxtaposition: Placing two things together for comparison and contrast to create a new meaning. Superimpose: To place something that does not normally belong their on another object. Such as placing a deer's head on a man's body. Conceptualism: this is an artistic lens that focuses on the idea behind a work of art over the expression or formal properties. Symbol: An image that represents something other then itself. Such as the Statue of Liberty representing liberty or the Bald Eagle patriotism. Paul Gauguin:This French artist and Post-Impressionist started the idea in Western thought of taking symbols and altering them to create new meaning as well as creating your own personal symbols. He lived for a time with the artist Vincent Van Gogh. Known for leaving his family and eventually moving to Tahiti. During his life Gauguin struggled financially and had bouts with depression.