BA SENIOR PROJECT AT CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY
Inspired by the psychoanalytical ideas of Freud, this collection of artwork encompasses psychological imagery through figurative subjects united by a theme of Surrealism. ”Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision” (Salvador Dali). Through Dali’s eccentric behavior and creative artworks emerged concepts that changed the way of modern thinking, and paved the way for contemporary surrealist artists today. His peculiar charisma and attention-grabbing public behavior sometimes drew more attention than his artwork did. This controversy led to an apprehension of those who held his work at a high standard, and irritation of his following critics. However, this persona characterized by Dali became an inspiration to many future artists and characterized the essence of surrealism.
The pieces chosen for this exhibition can be viewed in Los Angeles, but are all from diverse backgrounds, Marco Mazzoni, Beth Cavener Sticher, Michael Hussar, Ray Caesar, Carrie Ann Baade, and Brooke Shaden carry on Surrealism through visualizations of the unconscious. These artworks create a world beyond reality, a world of unique creatures in unusual settings, intermixing human, nature, and images of the surreal. At times creepy, other times sweet, these beings from a distant world come together to create a land of their own.
Surrealism as an official art movement began roughly after World War I during the early 1920’s. This movement is best known for obscure writings and visual artworks that were produced during the time. These artworks effectively undercut the intellectuality and intentionality that characterize creativity in the arts. Most shared themes of Surrealism come from the unconscious of the creator often producing unexpected, and sometimes bizarre imagery.
It is important to resurface the ideas brought about by Surrealism in aspects of remembering where the heart of creativity stems from. Even though the culture that is formed by the odd charismas of surrealists artists can be quite enticing, it is through each of their creative talents that help viewers see beyond reality and expand imaginations. This exhibition shines light on pure creativity from these artists and will attract those who seek to dream beyond reality.
"But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence . . . illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness” (Guy Debord).
Amanda Teng finds a great interest in surrealism because of its intertwining integration of the imaginary and reality. By morphing the real into the unreal, surrealism has captivated many through its bizarre images and ideas by pushing the boundaries of reality. These creations are intriguing to most because they have come from a non exsistent place, the unconscious. The unconscious is what moves us. It moves us in the sense of taking us from one place to another. It moves us in the sense of arousal to feeling, to expression, and to growth. It is the unconscious in art that moves us to an emotionally significant response without our knowing why or how. These eye-opening artworks are a result of pure creation, and the illustrations of never before seen images.
The various depictions of the body in figurative art is intriguing to Amanda because though scientific facts every human body functions the same, yet every body has a completely different identity. Not only are creations of surrealism interesting, but the artist behind these creations tend to capture a persona within themselves. Many times these artists form an avant-garde culture, often magnetizing the public towards their artwork. The element of surprise is typically what people enjoy within the social culture behind surrealism. Amanda’s fascination with surrealist art and the avant-garde culture that surrounds it, led to her inspiration to curate a surrealist exhibition with an emphasis on figuration.
The artists that Amanda has chosen, all have a way of making the imaginary believable. Each of these talented artists has a skill of persuading the audience that their imaginary creations are realistically attainable. By grouping these artists together she hopes to create a world within the gallery. To allow the audience feel like they are walking through a world of surrealism. The selection of artists were inspired by the surrealist artist, Salvador Dali, in both his works and magnetism.
One artist that really helped surrealism become a major art movement is Salvador Dali. Not only did his paintings captivate crazy ideas, but his charisma intrigued many people. He was popular on television shows because of his unpredictable behavior. Dali soon became one of the most well know artists and allowed surrealism to be an accepted theme in art, paving the way for contemporary artists today. Creating a contemporary surrealism exhibit will show the transformation of surrealism from Dali to present day artists. This show is important to surface surrealism in the contemporary art world. Amanda feels that it is important to re-spotlight the pure creativity seen through surrealist art.