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Shehaub
07-30-2003, 11:19 AM
Can anyone explain the difference between surreal and fantasy/sci-fi art?

Elankat
07-30-2003, 12:47 PM
Surrealism was an art and literary movement. Fantasy is a genre.

Surrealism was an art movement in the early 20th century (think Dali) that grew out of the Dada movement. It focused on subconscious or dreamlike imagery and spurned rationalism. Modern day surrealist continue this by focusing on portraying the same sort of dreamlike or subconcious imagery.

Fantasy would technically encompass any art that is "fantastical" or "imaginary" in nature.

Think of it this way: Most surreal art can be considered a form of fantasy art, but most fantasy art is not surreal. The term "fantasy art" can encompass many different styles and movements. Within the fantasy genre, you can find abstract, surreal, classical realism, and many other styles.

Hope that makes sense. :)

DraigAthar
07-30-2003, 01:02 PM
Woosh, Elankat's explanation is far better than anything I could have come up with! What she said! :)

Amy

Lumina
07-30-2003, 09:57 PM
Ummm...yeah...that's what I was gonna say. El stole my thunder. :D

Keith Russell
08-01-2003, 12:18 AM
Surrealist works are generally not considered 'illustration' by the 'high art' community. (Illustration is not often considered 'art' by the 'high art' crowd...)

Unlike science fiction and fantasy art, Surrealism is taken seriously by the fine art world...

Surrealism, though, is not 'escapist' art--as 'fantasy' art often is. Dealing with the subconscious, the Surrealists felt that they had something important to say/reveal about the human condition. They didn't want to escape from reality, they hoped to alter it.

Surrealism thus had a very strong political agenda.

Many of the Surrealists were socialists and/or Communists...

Suggested reading, the Surrealist Manifestos, by Andre Breton, et al:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0472061828/qid=1059708628/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_2/103-0856547-3928608?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

K

Elankat
08-01-2003, 12:35 AM
What I find interesting is that many periods in art history have their fair share of "fantasy" subject matter that is now viewed as "high art," but contemporary artists who deal with the very same subjects are considered illustrators or "low art."

Keith Russell
08-01-2003, 01:23 AM
Elan, I'm not sure that many contemporary fantasy artists are dealing with the same subjects as the Symbolists and Surrealists were.

Compare Julie Bell's or Frazetta's work, to Carlos Schwabe's and Jacek Malczewski's.

There is a difference...

K

Elankat
08-01-2003, 02:51 AM
Originally posted by Keith Russell
Elan, I'm not sure that many contemporary fantasy artists are dealing with the same subjects as the Symbolists and Surrealists were.

Compare Julie Bell's or Frazetta's work, to Carlos Schwabe's and Jacek Malczewski's.

There is a difference...

K

I never said that I was specifically referring to the Surrealists. I said that many periods have "fantasy" subjects. Fairies, gods, goddesses, classical myth, Arthurian legend...these have all been subjects in various art periods/movements and were intended as nothing more than artistic interpretation of story or theme. These same subjects are shared by contemporary "fantasy" artists and the very same subject matter is part of what condemns the contemporary artist to a lesser status on the "fine art" scene. When I made the statement, the Pre-Raphaelites, in particular, came to mind. As for contemporary artists to compare, I was thinking along the lines of Froud, Lee, or some Stephanie Law. Not so much Frazetta or Bell.

Plus, you are comparing two "high fantasy" artists to surrealist/symbolist artists. I think that's like comparing apples and oranges. If I were to choose a contemporary fantasy artist to compare to surrealists, the first one who pops into my mind would be Whelan.

http://www.michaelwhelan.com/gallerydetail.asp?vsImageId=86&vnMarker=6&vsGalleryid=3#

There's probably others to compare, but I'm not as well-versed on fantasy artists as some here. Then again, a contemporary comparison to the surrealists wasn't really what I was getting at with my post. :)

Elankat
08-01-2003, 11:10 AM
I feel the need to clarify that I don't view illustration as low art or in any such manner. I believe that illustration can be fine art and vice versa. I was talking about how some people in art circles who use the term "illustration" as if it's a dirty word or some sort of lesser creation. I believe it's only lesser if the artist intends is unskilled or intends it to be lesser, just the same as the art in "fine art" circles.

Keith Russell
08-01-2003, 12:22 PM
Elan said:
"If I were to choose a contemporary fantasy artist to compare to surrealists, the first one who pops into my mind would be Whelan."

As much as I admire Whelan's work, he would not be among my first choices for 'modern day Surrealist'.

H.R. Giger (obvious)

Ernst Fuchs (also farily obvious, and rather 'official')

Gottfred Helnwein (some of his newer work, anyway)

Gil Bruvel

K

Elankat
08-01-2003, 01:32 PM
I never said he was my first choice of a modern day surrealist. I said he was the first who came to mind to compare to surrealism. :) It's not quite the same thing. ;)

Like I said, I'm not very well-versed in contemporary fantasy artists. I know Giger, but I was thinking he was modern and not contemporary, but I guess he was doing all his work after 1950. Was just thinking he was older. Oops. Not familiar with the others.

Elankat
08-01-2003, 02:41 PM
Oops. It occurs to me that I may have read that wrong and you are listing YOUR first choices.

*sigh*

I need to get more sleep. :D

Keith Russell
08-01-2003, 06:57 PM
LeAnne, 'modern' and 'contemporary' are the same thing, as far as I know.

'Modern' (with a capital 'M'), though, is something else.

That period has ended, which is why we say we are in a 'Post-Modern' period.

Giger is still alive, has been working since the mid-60s, did his best painting in the late 70s, early 80s, and has been working in sculpture for the past few years.

K

Elankat
08-01-2003, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell
LeAnne, 'modern' and 'contemporary' are the same thing, as far as I know.

K

Not on ebay. lol :) I probably should have capitalized. When I think modern, I think of turn of the century to about 1950 or 1960.

Yes, I realize that about Giger now. Went and looked at his biography and saw he was born in 1940. Then, I remembered that he did the alien in Alien. For some reason, I was just thinking he was older/earlier.

Raindrop
08-02-2003, 04:32 AM
Thank you for the list of names, Keith and Elankat. Really instructive and... wow!

Shehaub
08-02-2003, 01:57 PM
Thank you for all of the info provided on this subject. I have a lot of homework to do. I think I am going to slip on over to the library and see what I can find on the subject and dig a little deeper. The names help a lot. I think this will be a good starting point.

Whelan is someone that I am very familiar with. I used to go to the Whelan gallery on the North Shore of Oahu and spend an hour just browsing and listening to them tell me about them. I am sure that I frustrated a lot of the sales people in there. There were a few other artists works in there besides just Whelan. One in particular did a beautiful pegasus (a subject I adore) and I wish I would have kept track of the name, since I have a little more money and would have loved to get a print of that one. It was $2K back in 89. I am sure its probably a huge price today.

Hopefully, I will come back from the library with a lot more insight into surrealism. Having just a tiny bit of exposure to it, thanks to the web, I am finding myself hungry for more knowlege on the subject. :)

Keith Russell
08-03-2003, 01:26 PM
A few subjects to research:

Andre Breton

Dada

Symbolism

Surrealism

Abstract Expressionism

Salvador Dali

Max Ernst

Man Ray

Rene Magritte

Marcel Duchamp

--K

Cabal
08-04-2003, 11:50 AM
Here's a few of my favorite Symbolists... The first two are my favorites.

Alfred Kubin (http://artmagick.com/thumbs/kubin.aspx)

Odilon Redon (http://artmagick.com/thumbs/redon.aspx)

Arnold Bocklin (http://artmagick.com/thumbs/bocklin.aspx)

Gustave Moreau (http://artmagick.com/thumbs/moreau.aspx)

And a few of my favorite Surrealists..

Yves Tanguy (http://p.cuvelier.free.fr/tanguy/index_tanguy.htm)

Remedious Varo (http://www.madsci.org/~lynn/juju/surr/images/varo/varo.html)

Roberto Matta (http://www.epdlp.com/matta.html)

Leonora Carrington (http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Museum/2042/inicio/carrington.htm)

iwan rse
05-08-2012, 12:28 AM
Can anyone explain the difference between surreal and fantasy/sci-fi art?
Fantasy usually based on myth, ancient tale, children tale, ancient book etc, mostly dungeon n dragon or fairy tale stuff. While Surrealis is more vast and unlimited...

Surrealist
surrealist generally mean the decoupling of aspects of reality. As example, reality of object and its function. This opened whole new ground of creativism.

Example, salvador dali works. Back to 1930s a sofa is a sofa, and a phone is a phone. Dali decoupling the reality : why not phonecall using a shrimp instead of phone, and sit on a lips instead a sofa ?. Hence he create the lobster phone and mae west lips sofa.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1b/Lobster_telephone.jpg/250px-Lobster_telephone.jpg

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01144/arts-graphics-2003_1144672a.jpg

Today we met such creative surrealist works everyday isnt it ? we just dont aware it is :)

Early surrealist play experimenting with creature shape too. They would make several pictures of head, several pictures of various creature torso, and various pictures of lower body and legs of various real and imaginary character. Then take it randomly or interchange it with one made by their friend. So if you watch cartoon of human body and head with octopus leg, it is surreal too actually!. Both human body exist, octopus leg is exist, but the relationship between two is new. In this case well, some myth animal is of course surrealist object too, as example, centaur.

An example of such 'decoupling of creature and its character' is in dali elephant painting. Elephant in Dali painting are very tall, dynamic animal with long leg, this is the decoupling of elephant and character 'heavy, slow, bulky'. Then it is get new meaning/character (elephant is creature that is twiggy, tall, and fast).
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KTNVrrzJq10/TeJEnMVCvyI/AAAAAAAAEl8/0VLLOXUPIng/s1600/Dali-Elephants.jpg

Do this decoupling of object/creature and its character/function with a lot of thing if your paintings : cloud that is heavy and stockpiled on the ground, trees instead that is light so it is hovering on the sky, bird that eat a tiger etc, and you got something whose components is real, but it feels like a dreams of wildest beauty and imagination which is why I love surrealist painting.

Some comics also contains surrealist theme. Example are Don Lawrence 'Storm'

Don Lawrence storm : Sailship is real, but it is became surreal because sailship function is in sea, not in space...
http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1210809687l/3309227.jpg

Japanese manga 'One Piece' also have lot of surrealism influence...
If Dali create 'Lobsterphone' in the One Piece manga there is a life-snail phone, there also cloud kingdom/flying island, flying sailship etc...
http://images.wikia.com/onepiece/images/1/10/Skypeian_map.png


And for me, it is the most beautiful and most creative form of art, by separate object and its perceived function, you are entirely free. What exist is just beauty.

kopyrightliberation
05-16-2012, 08:10 PM
it remind me OFF THE MOVIE O+~T++TRON

Skylynx
05-17-2012, 06:39 PM
I don't like to be too analytical, anyway, anywhere. But the word "fantasy art" never sounds good to describe what I do (dragons, fairies, monsters, etc.) But "Sci-Fi Art" is supposed to be scientifically based like space ships or weapons that could plausibly work. Seems we have to know all this.

I like this description: "Imagination Art", and I wish "Fantasy Art" would change to that. But, too late. The art world already has decided on it...if I want to be understood or show somewhere in a category (sigh).

Alessandra Kelley
05-17-2012, 07:06 PM
It seems to me that a lot of fantasy art is illustrative or storytelling by nature, whereas Surrealism is generally about psychological states. But I could be talking through my hat.

A few interesting fantasy artists of the nineteenth century:
Henry Fuseli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Fuseli)
Anne Anderson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Anderson)
Richard Dadd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dadd)
John Anster Fitzgerald (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Anster_Fitzgerald)

iwan rse
05-18-2012, 08:50 AM
I don't like to be too analytical, anyway, anywhere. But the word "fantasy art" never sounds good to describe what I do (dragons, fairies, monsters, etc.) But "Sci-Fi Art" is supposed to be scientifically based like space ships or weapons that could plausibly work. Seems we have to know all this.

I like this description: "Imagination Art", and I wish "Fantasy Art" would change to that. But, too late. The art world already has decided on it...if I want to be understood or show somewhere in a category (sigh).
every art involve imagination that is even less describing
fantasy art usually about ancient myth or medieval fantasy....

also mixing fantasy and scifi with surrealist and symbolist stuff could result in terrific (or terrifying) art... :)

so we will ignore all those categorization and draw/paint what we like anyway :grouphug:

iwan rse
05-18-2012, 09:03 AM
It seems to me that a lot of fantasy art is illustrative or storytelling by nature, whereas Surrealism is generally about psychological states. But I could be talking through my hat.

A few interesting fantasy artists of the nineteenth century:
Henry Fuseli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Fuseli)
Anne Anderson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Anderson)
Richard Dadd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dadd)
John Anster Fitzgerald (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Anster_Fitzgerald)

yea about psychological some surrealists such as Dali try to paint the state or using their subconscious...dreams, fear etc... For others (such as rene magritte) mostly about symbolism and beyond-real painting....
not sure about yves tanguy and his wife... watching his/her paintings for a few minutes make me feel my soul very2x empty. it just... weird....

Capo
07-11-2014, 11:50 AM
I think all this probably proves more than any else possibly could, that the notion of 'divisions' between 'difference types' of art is in itself completely arbitrary- not to mention purely imaginative (and I guess pretty surreal, while we're on the subject!) ... :)