This article will explore the surrealist work of Salvador Dali and also showcase some modern surrealist art. There are also links to some outstanding surreal photo manipulation tutorials.
Salvador Dali was born in Figueres, Spain in 1904. He studied at the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. Dali already drew attention as an eccentric and dandy man. He wore his hair long with sideburns, coat, stockings and knee breeches in the style of English aesthetes of the late 19th century.
His early art was very much realistic – and he was very good at it.
Figure at a Window 1925
The Bread Basket 1926
Dali helped found the surrealism movement, but was eventually expelled from the group as he flouted too many rules. Dali maintained: ‘I myself am surrealism’ and continued throughout his life to shock with both his art and his appearance. Dali could not fit into the surrealism movement as his political and religious views did not waiver, and were not those defined by the movement. Dali died from a heart attack in 1989.
The Persistence of Memory 1931
Dali’s influence on the art world is still very much in evidence today. He was maybe amongst the first to shock and rock the world, but definitely not the last. We have since seen the shock of Elvis Presley, Punk Rock and Eminem – to name but a few. Each generation thinks their shocker is and always will be the greatest!
So what did we learn from Dali’s art and the art of the surrealist movement?
It is an expansion of the mind, thinking outside of the box – putting things together that should not go together, or making an image of dream-like qualities. Proportion and perspective can be totally wrong in surreal art, probably the more so the better.
Here is the definition of ‘surreal’ according to the Cambridge Dictionary Online
Surreal is the juxtaposition of real, therefore the further away from reality, the more surreal the image is.
In this article I am only discussing surreal art, although surrealism can be seen in modes of dress, ceramics, furniture design, writing, etc.
Read more about the life, times and work of Salvador Dali here
Read more about the Surrealism Movement here
Here are some of Dali’s better known surreal works:
All images from Google Images
Soft Construction with Boiled Beans 1935
Metamorphosis of Narcissus 1937
Swans Reflecting Elephants 1937
Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man 1943
Galatea of the Spheres 1952
Still Life Moving Fast 1956
Surrealism Then and Now
Surrealism is a cultural movement which saw it’s golden years during the1930s. It continues today with numerous groups around the world.
L’Ange du Foyeur by Max Ernst 1937
Here are some examples of modern surrealism (clicking on any image will take you to the page of origin):
Don’t slam the door by Jacek Yerka
Chess king by adnrey
Chocolatopia by norbi
African Bread Hut by Onanymous
Nirvana by Sidiuss
It camouflaged reality by theflickerees
Just Plain Hooked by ChrissieCool
Surreal by rustymermaid
Surreal Machine by tk-link
Boy taking a rest by Simon Pais
longing for freedom by AlicePopkorn
Next Dimension by h.koppdelaney
Nereid by Jerico Santander
Cadbury-Bournville (2009) by Natalie Shau
Surreal in Mind by Michael Vincent Manalo
Making Off: My Second Reality by Artur Neufeld and Marian Rupp
Surreal America by Tiago Hoisel
Freedom by cazcastalla
Would you like to learn how create a surreal photomanipulation? Here are some great tutorials to set you on your way (click on the image to view the tutorial):
Photo Manipulate a Surreal Space-Age Landscape from PSDFanExtra
Create a Dramatic and Surreal illustration in Photoshop CS5 from Adobe Tutorials
Maze in my Mind from Photoshop Tutorials
Surrealistic Room Photo Manipulation from Photoshop Tutorials
Note: The link to the Wave brushes by AnaRasha does not work, but they are available here
Create a Face Shattering Effect from 10Steps.SG
There is usually a message conveyed or trying to be conveyed in surrealist art, be it emotional, religious or political. Sometimes the message is clear from either the art or the title, other times it is not apparent, and of course, there are those exceptions where there is no message, the artist has just had some ‘out of the box’ inspiration.
I hope you have enjoyed the information in this article – it is very abridged, there is far more information available on all subjects: Salvador Dali, Surrealism, Surreal Photoshop Tutorials.
Don’t be afraid to try out the tutorials – Dali himself said:
Do you like surrealistic art and/or the art of Salvador Dali? Is there another art movement that inspires and motivates you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.