WHY IS SURREALISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AN ART?

Do you wonder how Surrealistic photography is different from contemporary photography? Well, it is indeed a very fun topic to discuss. Photographers who love to create surrealistic photography generally love their work unique and quite far from realism.

Let’s talk about what makes a photograph surreal? So there are certain that make photographs surreal in the first place. Let’s learn about them before heading out to the main topic:

Mainly surrealistic photographs are those that you can’t relate to reality. So there are particular elements that you should apply to your photographs to make them look surreal, Like using very crisp angles, which are not used in a general genre of photography.

Surrealism is different from abstraction. These two different genres are very much different from each other.

 Both Surrealism and abstraction were a form of distraction from the idea of art that was solely representational, but they have distinct approaches. Abstraction in photographs is usually portrayed through textures, colors, shapes, and other elements to invoke thoughts or feelings. Whereas Surrealism in photographs has appreciable images but here is the twist, they’re often presented in an atypical way. Here are some examples,  A vivid photograph of cubes? Then it’s Abstract. A building that is made fully of human hands? Then it is called Surreal. 

were a form of distraction from the idea of art that was solely representational, but they have distinct approaches. Abstraction in photographs is usually portrayed through textures, colors, shapes, and other elements to invoke thoughts or feelings. Whereas Surrealism in photographs has appreciable images but here is the twist, they’re often presented in an atypical way. Here are some examples,  A vivid photograph of cubes? Then it’s Abstract. A building that is made fully of human hands? Then it is called Surreal. 

Surrealism, or a composition that has the surreal quality to it, is an experiment in form. It is supposed to be the expression of the unconscious through things that are tangible, so if a photograph expresses the quality and invokes another unconscious association from the viewer. Then it accomplishes the intended purpose of Surrealism.

One of the possible reasons Surrealistic photography is called art is that it is a part of your own imagination. No one can plagiarize it, and only you can explain the true meaning behind your photograph; not everyone will be able to crack it. You subconsciously try to recreate what you crave the most in the real world.

Now the matter is you can’t “click” surreal photographs. It is mostly done by picture manipulation. Softwares and applications like photoshop and picsart. Where you can add unreal elements and still keep it presentable.

Well, this art has some of its important factors to, let’ learn about them now :

Symbolic images and Dreamlike scenes:

What do you understand by symbolic images in surrealistic photography? I mean, the photograph might have a hidden symbolism, which the photographers want to portray through their work. It might be a political review, or a social norm-breaking message, or anything that you can’t express in a direct way, so they use their creativity to create the symbolism through the aesthetics of Surrealism.

Now coming to dreamlike scenes, here are scenes that you see in fairytales or animated movies or songs. They look unreal, right? But not unpresentable.  Like a fairy house or a bridge that is leading to a different universe, you can only create these scenes in your dreams and so on surrealistic photography.

Unexpected, illogical juxtapositions.

They say that Surrealism doesn’t have to make sense. So it pretty much validates its unexpected and illogical juxtapositions. The more you explore and play with the angles, the more it looks attractive to the human eyes.

Bizarre assemblages of ordinary objects:

Now, what would you call it if a lot of graphite wrappers are assembled at a place, and you are asked to create magic out of it. To the ordinary, it might look normal and unclean, but to the eye of an artist, it might have a different perspective. And believe it or not but the most ordinary thing can breed into very creative things.

Automatism and a spirit of spontaneity.

Automatism is a process of creating magic in which the photographer or the artist tries to subdue their conscious control over the creating process, placing the unconscious mind at rest and having great sway. Automatism in photography was brought by the surrealists as a means of putting forward subconscious ideologies. In automatic photography, the wand is allowed to swing “randomly” across the scene.

Personal iconography :

Iconography in photography defines as the usage of certain images, symbols, or icons as the form of elements to portray a movement, subject, or idea. It is called “personal” because, generally, it is used to describe the photographer’s point of view. It depends on them what kind of images, symbolism, or icons they will use to portray their creative minds. It might also convey certain genres or fields like music, art, television.

Visual puns:

The most interesting and mind-quilting thing is to crack these visual puns or like hidden touches of humor. At the same time, they are mostly healthy touches of humor or dark humor.

Puns are stated to be the shallowest form of humor. Personally, I think that it is insulting and solely untrue. A pun can make you think twice like it might give you eye rolls like you just did, and another hand, it might make you laugh. But if a picture is a thousand words worthy, then a visual pun surely is a thousand times better or might be worse, Judge on your own. You are the one to judge. Just don’t bash me. Also, it is always better to have more than one meaning to a word or sentence. It adds up the fun to storm your head. Like it will make you think twice or maybe thrice in finding the meaning behind that particular word or image you had gathered from someplace. That’s the fun of visual puns. And it is just one of many things that add up to the intelligence of a person in understanding Surrealism.

A visual pun reveals the double meaning of a word or phase in an image in an effort to be humorous and playful. Like a word pun, a visual pun is a play on images that can have multiple meanings.

Distorted figures and biomorphic shapes.

Biomorphism is also one of the styles that have made a huge impact in the field of Surrealism.

The Surrealist use of distorted figures and biomorphic forms adds an additional conventional layer to the study of biomorphic surrealistic photography. These artists had a special relation to the original word “morphe.” In Greek mythology, Hypnos is actually the god of sleep. Surrealism was grounded in the study of the subconscious and greatly influenced by the dream world. In that sense, it was the ultimate manifestation of biomorphism, as it relied on true automatism, the perfect expression of freedom and unforeseeable novelty, and it also inhabited the realm of Morpheus, the god of dreams.

OUTLOOK :

So basically, surrealism photography is indeed art because art was never meant to make sense. It is meant to make you feel something. And that “something” might mean anything, like happiness, astonishment, rage, sorrow, and etc. Any sort of feeling altogether.

Photographers who believe in Surrealism can never relate to commercial or conventional art that is sellable. If you want to do surrealism photography, you must have that madness in your head to create the impossible by using all these factors stated to make an image look like an amazing ART!

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