Realism is back. Realistic, or representational, art fell out of favor with the advent of photography, but today's painters and sculptors are reviving old techniques and giving reality a whole new spin.
Detail of "Autoretrato," Surrealistic Painting by Juan Carlos Liberti, 1981 (Cropped). Photo by SuperStock via GettyImages
Composed of dream-like images, Surrealism strives to capture the flotsam of the subconscious mind.
In the early 20th century, the teachings of Sigmund Freud inspired a dynamic movement of surrealistic artists. Many turned to abstraction and filled their works with symbols and archetypes. However painters like René Magritte (1898-1967) and Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) used classical techniques to capture the terrors, longings, and absurdities of the human psyche. Their realistic paintings captured psychological, if not literal, truths.
Surrealism remains a powerful movement that reaches across genres. Paintings, sculpture, collages, photography, cinema, and the digital arts depict impossible, illogical, dream-like scenes with life-like precision. For contemporary examples of surrealistic art, explore the work of Kris Lewis or Mike Worrall, and also check out the paintings, sculptures, collages, and digital renderings by artists who classify themselves as Magic Realists and Metarealists.
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