Category: Surrealism

Impossibilities: Down is up

Painter Lindsay Pickett bends perspective, channeling the surrealists and M.C. Escher, folding urban skylines and bending roads to where we don’t know up from down, designing a pleasant, mind-expanding chaos.

From this Hi-Fructose article: “To create a warped landscape or some other kind of impossible reality the chosen idea or theme must create one impossible landscape and for that, the lighting has to work together and not look too much like a collage,” the artist says. “This is often the longest part of my studio practice as finding ideas can take time. The two or more landscape images must blend together in a subtle way. A lot of my ideas also come from some films of the science fiction genre. Especially when seeing films that have a lot of cinematic scenes in them. Whereas such images are mostly created on computer, for me I like the challenge of creating something impossible by hand. I find it much more challenging and stimulating. This is also where I feel my work stands out.”

Surreal: Remedios Varo, painter

In undergrad 20some years ago I took a class focused on female artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. I think it was called Her-Story. I found the course challenging and I don’t think the professor liked me but I left with favorite artist.

Remedios Varo was a Spanish surrealist. The European Surrealist scene was a boy’s club, but there were standout women as well, including Leonora Carrington and of course Frida Kahlo. But I was drawn to Varo’s style: lonely, beautiful, otherworldly but familiar, immensely personal, and she explored feminism long before is was cool (is it cool now?). She lived in Spain and Paris but was eventually exiled to Mexico due to the rise of the Nazis. Her artistic interests included alchemy, magic, self-exploration and analytic psychology.

Here are a few of my favorites of her works:

Embroidering the Earth’s Mantel
Vegetarian Vampires
Alchemy of Useless Science
Disturbing Presence

Identity: Photography without a face

Ben Zank is a NYC-based photographer who captures mostly-faceless subjects buried, disappearing, laying surreal in isolated nature. I hoped the artist had a shop with prints, but no such luck that I’ve found.

About the facelessness, Zank says, “Some people are really good at getting a certain emotion of people when photographing them. I’ve found that I can create the same effect without showing someone’s face. The image itself is the emotion. I have nothing against showing my face, I’ve done it before. I just don’t want it to take away from the important bit. I’ve got a pretty distracting face, you know.

I Don’t Know Anymore, 2017
Dirt, 2018
Hollow, 2016
Daily Commute, 2017