Describe || Surrealism

Hello Netizens,

Surrealism was founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. It started as an artistic and literary movement. Surrealism suggested that the Enlightenment movement had restrained the superior features of irrational unconscious mind, and it's goal is to free the mind and the human experience from the suppressive limitations or rationalism.

Breton was very knowledge in the  psychoanalytical writings of Sigmund Freud and he had studied psychiatry and medicine. He was specifically interested in the concept that the unconscious mind -which is the source of dream- is where artistic creativity comes from. Breton considered surrealism to be a revolutionary movement that is able to free the human mind from the rational view or order of society. But how could an individual achieve this freedom of mind? 


Automatism is the practice of free association or a stream of consciousness, which gave surrealists a way to channel their unconscious artwork. André Masson's, a surrealist artist, mixed media painting Battle of Fishes (1926) is a a great early example of automatic painting. He created his artwork by first, taking gesso and allowing it to freely fall on the surface of the canvas. After that, he threw sand over it, and when it dried, he drew and painted around the forms created. 

Artists who used the automatic method to create their artworks were pretty welcoming to the idea of chance.  The artwork Battle of Fishes consisted of two prehistoric fishes with their jaws dripping blood, surrounded by mountains. The painting illustrates the inherent violence of nature. 

Battle of Fishes by André Masson 

Frida Kahlo 

Frida Kalo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico. She was a Mexican self-portrait painter, and she is still admired till this very day as a feminist icon. 

One third of Kahlo's paintings are self portraits, and due to her being the subject of many of her paintings, her became as iconic as her work. Her works were extremely political and personal and they reflected her personal life - her relationship with Diego Rivera, a revolutionary muralist and a Communist. Kahlo's life and art was dedicated to the Mexican Revolution and everything her artworks provokes. Moreover, her style of painting has been widely recognised and she has been considered to be a realist by Rivera, and a Surrealist by  André Breton. However, Kahlo prefers not to label herself as she said, "I paint my own reality."

Frida Kahlo, 

Frida Kahlo, 

Kahlo health issues became premenant in 1950, after being diagnosed with gangrene located in her right foot. She had multiple operations around that time, and spent 9 months in the hispital. Nevertheless, she has continued to paint through her illness, despite being limited with her mobility. Kahlo had her first solo exihibiton in Mexico in 1953, and although she was bedridden she hasn't missed her exihibition's opening. She had arrived to the opening using an ambulance and spent her time celebrating with the attendees. Her joy begun disappearing after her right leg was amputated to stop the spread of gangrene.

Kahlo left the world on the 13 of June, 1954, a week after her 47th birthday. 



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