Once you start walking out your door with a camera in hand, you start noticing how different the world looks in reality as opposed to what one might reasonably expect. I am not talking here about sudden upheavals or calamities, rather about everyday events, which show how much surreal is the commonplace.
The Surrealist movement in art, was born out of a brief Dada idea, which in substance marked a revolt against the state of mind and art, that led humanity into the madness of self destruction during the Great War. Surrealists wanted to mix reality and fantasy, like what happens in our dreams, to arrive at what they called “enhanced reality”.
You will find ample reference to the background of this movement in the Surrealist Manifesto of Andre’ Breton. A phrase, which most succinctly depicts, how they wanted to proceed, is in my opinion, the following:
“It is not the fear of madness which will oblige us to leave the flag of imagination furled. ”
In photography, surrealism has produced many wonderful images, having evolved at a time, when photography became ubiquitous, thus influencing some of the most prominent photographers of the 20th century. One of the images hanging on my wall, is the famous “Violon d’Ingres” by Man Ray. By the way, the self-irreverent title of this work, is explained here.
A whole amusing and interesting series of articles on surrealism in photography – in particular, that of Henri Cartier Bresson, has been written by Adam Marelli.
The picture, that has summed it all up, is a homage to Surrealism, and his foremost hero – Salvador Dali, shot by Philippe Halsman: “Dali Atomicus”.
On a more modest note, street life thrives in warm climates, and the more time people spend outdoors, the more likely it is, you will see something unusual, like in this shot taken in Menton.