Surrealism is powerful because it fully unlocks the non-rational potential of art. To get there I like to use a mythological aesthetic, especially in my larger montages. I like to start with a sprawling exotic landscape, in thsi case, one that feels like ancient greek mythology. In this particular case, I am using a photograph of Venice, shot from the tower in St. Mark’s square. The domes of the Basilica in the fore usher in and open up the viewer to the moody landscape. I then focus on dramatic lighting to set the stage further, followed by the introduction of extraneous and unusual details.
All in all, my intent is to push visual poetry deeply into the psyche, and ultimately tease the subconscious awake, in hopes to elevate its dream-awareness up to a level of conscious consideration. Best tool is surrealism, for both artist and viewer, it is liberating for both.
And so it allows me to work without limitation, discover unexpected juxtapositions, mix and match subject matter freely, in order to expand influence on the viewer’s mood as broadly as possible. And if I am lucky, have them consider meaning beyond any conventional pattern of thought.
The composition has good interplay between fore, middle and background elements; creating a depth and movement that allows for discovery. When viewed from afar, one gets a sense of its serene character. In close, a strange menagerie of details prods at your intuition, enticing your wonder towards the origins of their meaning.
I have always enjoyed art that provides a depth of experience through wide ranging subject matter. Even to the point of distraction, where any focal point gets lost within the busy composition. It forces you to stop and look around, giving you time with the piece in order to click with its message, if indeed you find one.
Reminiscing upon my own exposure with other artists’ work, I find this situation at its upmost with Salvador Dali, the most obvious in this category. Of course his sprawling surrealist vistas, with melting clocks, and contorted biological forms, are the easiest to appreciate within this idea.
And then, going back further as a child, I recall examining the painted images of conceptual spacecraft. In particular the art collected in the series of books given by the Terran Trade Authority in the late 1970’s. The books depicted, in very striking ways, the evolution of our culture with respect to space exploration in the near future. I recall the scenes being very detailed and displaying a heightened level of practical design. In short, incredible.