Uncovering Surrealism: The Origins, Innovations, and Iconic Artworks

Uncovering Surrealism: The Origins, Innovations, and Iconic Artworks

Boiled Beans: created by the artist SALVADOR DALI in (1904-1989). This piece of art was a premonition of the Spanish civil war in 1936.


Surrealism was a cultural and artistic wave that landed spacious ground in Europe, particularly after the First World War in the late 1910s and early 1920s.

This movement originated when WWI was the deadliest in Belgium and France. Surrealism is a type of art style that shows things out of the ordinary or gives displays in a weird, meaningless, and confusing manner that separates them from reality.

Surrealism became this way because the First Great War took many things from people economically, family-wise, and even more. People used this art to separate themselves from the crushing reality of the war, which sparked the movement.



A Surrealistic Art Piece



Important Figures of Surrealism



Multiple important figures increased this movement’s popularity and legitimacy across Europe and created significant innovations in surrealism.



Max Ernst



He used to be a German poet, sculptor, painter, and graphic designer. He was an artist who changed the way surrealism was produced and created. He was determined to experiment with the genre. That eventually led to his creation of “frottage.” 



Frottage is a surrealist way of creating art implemented by specific types of rubbing to create detailed textures. He also used a surrealist method called “grattage.” Grattage consists of scraping fresh paint across the canvas, usually used to make the surface more dynamic.




André Breton



Breton is huge on literature, and he used his skills in literature to strengthen the tide of surrealism. 



The surrealist movement remembered him as their cultural leader. He gained fame as the author of the first “Surrealist Manifesto.”




René Magritte



Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. His artwork was the beginning backbone of surrealism. He produced numerous images that displayed ordinary pieces, challenging the conscious perceptions of reality. That is what surrealism is. 




Salvador Dalí



He was a Spanish surrealist praised for his precise artistic skill, which he used to make detailed and unreal images in his pieces. He has also done other creative work, such as graphic design, filming, sculpting, photography, and painting. 



He also did literature-based things, like poetry, essays, fiction, and more. Many of his works focus on dreams, nightmares, and alternate realities created by the brain that wouldn’t make sense.



An Image of Salvador Dalí



He embodies surrealism, and he was the most famous surrealist at one point. He used surrealism to awaken his subconscious mind. He was known to use the “paranoiac-critical method, “meaning he would meditate to reach the point of hallucination, which would help him create his surrealistic pieces of art.







Juxtaposition combines or merges unexpected objects or shapes to create striking differences.

This element in surrealism can create mixed feelings in the viewer’s mind as they see the work of art, such as laughter, confusion, horror, curiosity, and more.

The purpose of this method of surrealism is to challenge the viewer’s train of thought in reality by combining objects or shapes that do not make sense. Also, the artist can intentionally change random, everyday things to create a sense of weirdness or strangeness to create a fake reality.






An Iconic Surrealist Art Piece



Look at this piece of surrealism; what do you see? There is nothing that makes sense once the picture strikes the eye. There are large clocks that are melting in different places.


There are settings where they are not supposed to be. For example, there is a small mountain range in the back of the photo and a dead tree on top of a desk. All of this doesn’t make sense.


It challenges the reader to look hard and think about what could happen in the picture. That all presents a different, engaging, and even meaningless alternate reality.





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