Surrealism Art

Mention Salvador Dali and you will be transported to the world of Surrealism, a world which almost seems to mirror our universe but with parallel and different laws. From surprise to shock, to comparisons that a layman (even one with an overactive imagination) would never think off, Surrealism was not just an art form but a cultural movement that affected every thought and practice in the world, from the political thinking of people, to the way they expressed themselves in movies, poetry, literature, and of course, artwork. Understanding what this movement is can be difficult, especially without understanding what brought about the movement, what its main characteristics were, and who its proponents were.

The Magical World of Surrealist Paintings

Towards the end of the First World War, many artists who had moved to different parts of the world from Paris became proponents of the Dadaism movement which held the belief that the war was a result of excessive rationalization, and an increase in bourgeois living. The way in which Dadaists protested the war was with anti-art movements, different performances, art works, and literary works. History tells us that the first seeds of thought regarding the Surrealist movement were conceptualized from the remnants of the Dadaism movement. The person who can be called the founder of the Surrealism movement was Andre Breton who regarded the movement a form of revolution. The definition as given by him says that it is a “pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.”

Extremely influenced by Freudian theories, Surrealism is in a manner the expression of imagination as seen in one’s dreams. The entire gamut of Freud’s theories that dealt with free association, analysis of dreams, and of the unconscious, were extremely important to the artists who were a part of this movement. Most artists of the movement laid their claim on eccentricity without an acceptance of being mad. As can be figured out from what Salvador Dali very famously said, “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”

Another important characteristic of the movement was the juxtaposition of elements that were rarely ever actually featured together. The aim behind combining two disparate elements was to create something that shocked and startled. Most artists of the movement aimed at breaking the shackles that bound people to conventional, rational behavior, and customs and traditions.

One of the most famous painters on a Surrealist canvas was very obviously Salvador Dali, who helped popularizing this art movement. A lot has been said and written about the relation between the art movement and Dali and the effect that the artist had on the way people perceived this artistic movement. If you study the art form in detail, you will see that there is a lot of technique involved, as well as focus on content. But despite this, there was an attempt to appreciate what an untrained artist would see as art. This stemmed from the belief that free from rules, a mind tends to be more imaginative in the ideas it generates.

Most artists who painted in the Surrealist form, used free association and one of two methods of expression; Absolute Surrealism and Veristic Surrealism. While the former believed in the expression of ideas of the subconscious, the latter focused on creating a connection between the abstract and the real. Salvador Dali worked in the Veristic school, often juxtaposing images from the real world with imaginary situations. It is believed that movements of the art world like Abstract Expressionism and Magic Realism were born from this movement. Lowbrow art is also a throwback from this art movement.

It is difficult to understand this movement completely without maybe taking a lesson. Paintings like Elle Loge La Folie, Indefinite Divisibility, or Woman with Her Throat Cut, are works that just give you an insight into the shock and awe that Surrealism art inspires.
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How to Make Fabric Flowers

Fabric flowers can be an attractive addition to your flower vases, dresses, headbands, and handbags. Making such artificial flowers is really easy, if you have a basic idea about how to use the raw materials. Simple fabric flowers can be made with plain cotton, silk, or calico cloth, or even scraps. These simple methods do not involve complex stitching techniques.

Method I

In order to make fabric flowers, you need strips of cloth, which is not stiff. You may also use the leftover strips in your home. For smaller flowers, you have to use cloth strips of smaller sizes. As the size of the strip increases, the flower gets bigger. In order to make a standard size fabric flower, you need a cloth strip, which is around one inch wide, with a length of about 40 inches. Apart from the cloth strip; you need thread, needle, buttons, and scissors.

Making flowers from cloth strips is really easy. The first step is to fold the strip lengthwise. Now, you have to make a running stitch along the folded edge. Once you reach the other end of the cloth strip, pull the thread gently, so that the fabric gathers up. Pull the thread, till the length of the fabric becomes half of the original size. The next step is to arrange this strip in consecutive layers, without cutting it. You have to arrange it spirally, so as to form a flower. Now, secure the different layers by stitching.

Method II

In this method, you need a cloth of your choice, to make petals. Materials, like needle, thread, scissors, and colorful buttons are also required. Cut six pieces of 3×3 squares from the fabric. Now, take each piece and fold it in such a fashion, that the cloth piece forms a triangle. This can be done by bringing two of the opposite corners (of the square) together. Press these triangles firmly.

The next step is to make a running stitch through the open edges of the triangle. That means the open edges must be sewn together. Once, you reach the other end, gently pull the thread and the fabric piece will look like a petal. Now, repeat the process to make petals out of the remaining triangles. Join them in a circle, so as to form a flower. You can form a single layer of petals or add more layers. Once you finish joining the petals, you can attach a button in the center. Your fabric flower is ready.

Mentioned above are the simplest methods to make fabric flowers. The raw materials are easily available, and stitching is also minimal. You can experiment with various types of clothes, colors, designs, and patterns; and come up with beautiful and trendy fabric flowers. All you need is some time, patience, and lots of creativity.