what is surrealism?

Since I find myself working as a surrealist after all these years, I decided to find out just what I really got myself into. Surrealism started in 1920 as a cultural movement. It’s the element of surprise and the juxtaposition of imagery that brought it to the attention of the public during the period around World War 1. It was a movement embraced by writers, painters, filmmakers, musicians, philosophers and lawmakers which came out of the DaDa movement and was centered in Paris. Well-known surrealists are Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Joan Miro.

None of this had any impact on me until recently when I started working with collage. What brought me to this form of expression was the way collaging pushed my compositions to the absurd. I was looking for another way of expressing myself and I found this journey into the unknown intriguing and a little bit intimidating. Since there aren’t any guidelines to follow outside of my own intuition, I have no clue where I'm going until I'm finished. What I find most interesting is how this new fascination with the unusual and bizarre allows me to get into my subconscious. It’s in my collages that I’m able to free myself and allow anything to happen. I’m often surprised by the imagery which opens limitless possibilities to me. The rules for this form of art are different from those of the photorealists, which is my background.

When I was a young girl my father took me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I saw this strange man dressed in white like Colonel Sanders. He stood in front of a painting of melting clocks, leaning on his white cane with a diamond handle and was twisting the tip of his long mustache. My father told me he was the artist Salvador Dali. At the time it didn’t mean anything to me, but I was so taken by the man that I never forgot the moment I saw him. Little did I know how much his work would have an influence on me all these years later.