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Surrealism paintings: yesterday and today

Surrealism, born in France in 1924, detached art from conventional logic. This movement grew from the rebellious spirit of the Dadaists against the old-fashioned aesthetic rules. It employed scandal, humor, and illusion to break artistic conventions. André Breton, the main theorist of surrealism, defined it as expressing thoughts without rational constraints. The avant-garde of the 20th century turned to new forms of expression, such as collage, automatism, and photomontage, to transcend the boundaries of reality.

In painting, surrealism merged reality with fantasy and dreams, challenging perception. Surrealism paintings by artists such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miró, and René Magritte were filled with symbolism but also absurdity. Today, neo-surrealism continues to surprise, challenges artistic traditions, and still has a compelling attraction, as seen in galleries, museums, and... interior decor. **Let's explore surrealism painting, from historic to modern iterations.**


Painting surrealism

Surrealist painters, deeply inspired by Freud's psychoanalysis theory, were fascinated with exploring the mind. They saw hope for new art in returning to childhood. What did they want? To see the world again through the eyes of a child—free from learned rules. Thus, surrealism paintings and the painting techniques used by the creators (e.g., stream of consciousness) appealed to the unfettered imagination of a child, as well as to primitive art and the fears and desires that swirl in our subconscious.

How did this influence the themes of their works? Surrealist paintings presented a dream-like world>/strong> as well as absurd and grotesque situations. Completely random objects and topics were juxtaposed, and the contrast of such combinations was meant to shock and provoke reflection on the workings of the mind. Surrealism in painting also often referred to eroticism, as a realm full of unconscious meanings.

Salvador Dali surrealism

Salvador Dali, born in 1904 in Spain, is the most emblematic creator of surrealism. Known for his impressive technique and boundless imagination, Dali explored the themes of the subconscious and perception through his art. His works, loaded with symbolism, combine realistic depictions with wild visions. "The Persistence of Memory" is probably the artist's most famous painting, where melting clocks suggest the fluidity of time. With the irony characteristic of surrealsm, Dali claimed that the inspiration for the painting was not reflections on the transience of time, but... melted Camembert cheese.

Dali has left a lasting mark in history. His extravagant personality and iconic mustache have become as much a part of his artistic legacy as his works themselves. Today, Salvador Dali's surrealism paintings also manifest as images of the artist on posters, canvases, and other items. His iconic style allows us to continuously create Salvador Dali surrealism painting.


Art surrealism

When thinking of surrealism, we often think "surrealism paintings," although the painters of surrealism were not the only creators within this movement. Salvador Dalí himself was not limited to painting; his creative genius extended to sculpture, photography, and film—he collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock and Luis Buñuel (famous for the short film "Un Chien Andalou"). In the field of literature, Boris Vian and the aforementioned André Breton stood out. Man Ray, on the other hand, became famous for his photography.

Surrealism also found expression in the design of furniture and utilitarian objects, mixing practicality with finesse. Among the most recognizable are sofas mimicking human body shapes or lamps that create surprising optical effects and illusions. In architecture, surrealism can be admired in projects such as the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, Salvador Dalí’s House-Studio in Portlligat, or the Dalí Museum in Florida.

Surrealist paintings - interior decoration

Surrealist style in decoration? It's about surprise without drastic changes! A completely surrealistic interior would be too avant-garde... Let's opt for provocative additions: surrealist paintings, intense colors, unique furniture, and unusual gadgets. The interior should not look like it's ripped from a catalog of a popular furniture company; it should captivate with details. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Surrealist painting - reproductions of works by representatives of the movement and all paintings inspired by their creativity are an obvious choice.
  • Round paintings - their shape breaks the conventional mold and attracts all eyes. Choose a round canvas with a dreamlike landscape or in strong colors.
  • Shocking posters - look for posters with unconventional prints: ironic, grotesque, and bold.
  • Reworks of old paintings - a parody of old works, referring to collage, would be ideal, such as classic portraits with a contemporary twist added, like drawn-on chewing gum, a painted mustache, or glasses.


Neosurrealism - Portraits by Ewa Juszkiewicz

Has any Polish painter left a mark in the history of surrealist art? Indeed, some of the works by the renowned Zdzisław Beksiński undoubtedly possess traits of surrealism. However, the real sensation lately is Ewa Juszkiewicz. The unusual paintings by this young artist reinterpret classic portraits of women from the 18th and 19th centuries with a surrealistic flair. The artist obscures the faces of the figures, replacing them with flowers, mushrooms, shells, or compositions of fabric.

Collage, grotesque, and a critical view of traditional art — these are hallmarks of neosurrealism, which in the works of Ewa Juszkiewicz has made a significant comeback. In 2022, her painting "Portrait of a Lady (After Louis Leopold Boilly)" sold in New York for $1.56 million. Is it a surrealistic painting? It certainly shows that surrealism in painting and the critical attitudes of the avant-garde have influenced the artist's sensibility.

Similar trends have also been observed at Bimago (and you don’t need millions to enjoy a surrealistic portrait). In our Flowers in hair collection, we embraced the idea of replacing the heads of female figures with colourful bouquets. Many designs featuring figures with flowers instead of faces are also available as posters of women.

Are you fascinated by surrealist painters? Delve into the history of this movement and choose reproductions of Salvador Dali's works. Do you like neosurrealism? You can create avant-garde decor in your home using contemporary ideas! If you want your walls to feature fashionable and modern surrealist paintings, we encourage you to explore the offerings at bimago.

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