by Ruxandra Papa
Artistic and literary avant-garde movement, surrealism begins in the first part of the 20th century
It thus becomes the voice of a group of writers and artists who wanted to change the mentality of a rigid, suffocated society.
In the painting, the path of surrealism was opened by Giorgio de Chirico, when the surrealists extended their attention from literature and poetry to the fine arts.
Breton recalls a writing by De Chirico of 1914, which outlined a number of ideas that have many affinities with surrealism. “In order for a work of art to be truly immortal, it is necessary that it should come completely out of the human’s borders. In this way she will approach the dream and the childish mentality. The profound work will be pushed by the artist into the most mysterious depths of his being: there is not the whisper of the streams, the song of the birds, the rustling of the leaves. What I listen to is worth nothing, only my eyes see open, and often closed. It is important, above all, to get rid of the art of what it contains from what is known until now: any idea, any symbol must be put aside. We must have great security in ourselves; it is necessary that the revelation we have about a work of art, the conception of a painting reproducing this thing without any meaning to itself, without subject, without significance from the point of view of human logic. ; it is necessary that such a revelation or conception be so strong in us, to bring us such great joy or pain, that we feel compelled to paint pushed by a force greater than that of him. it pushes the hungry one to bite, like a beast in the piece of bread that falls into his hand. “
Dreams and imagination become the preferred instruments of the new form of manifestation, through which André Breton, Joan Miró, Marx Ernst, René Magritte and many other artists of the moment have expressed themselves. Surrealism allowed the superimposition of unrelated objects, the levitation of things, the repetition of symbols and the inverse representation of elements in nature.
The works of surrealist artists are represented by realistic images in which bizarre elements appear, learned from the context. Also, the surrealists have intensely explored human emotions and desires, repeatedly exposing themes such as sexuality, violence, insanity, going out of time or obsession.
The eccentric nature and the permanent exit from the banal made Salvador Dali the most common representative of the surrealist movement.
He loved creating sensations and especially controversy. “In comparison to Velázquez, I am nothing, but compared to contemporary painters, I am the greatest genius of the modern world,” Dali said in 1960.
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech was born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, near Gerona, Catalonia, near the border with France.
All his oil paintings represented overlapping images of his dreams. The works involved a meticulous classical technique, influenced by Renaissance artists, in obvious contrast to the unreal dream space he created with strange and hallucinatory characters.
Dalí’s major contribution to surrealism was the so-called “paranoid – critical method”, a mental exercise of accessing the subconscious to stimulate artistic creativity.
Dali had patented, from an early age, a strange way of sleeping, because he valued his working time, enormously: to wake up as soon as he fell asleep, he used the “key sleep”, according to which, sitting in a chair, Dali held a metal key in his hand and the moment his sleep began to conquer him, the key slid between his fingers and the noise produced by it woke him.
Because he was always talking about him in the third person, saying his “Divine Dali” every appearance in public, he brought something new, shocking, and was among the first to understand that the first image that people see is the packaging of a product .
Permanently elegant, or extravagantly dressed, he wore long mustaches, oriented upwards, fixed “at 10 and 10 o’clock”, he always had clenched teeth, because, he said, “I am more and more lucid and shatter more and more perfection between my teeth clenched. ”
He considered himself a snob – an attitude that he defined as being able to put yourself in a position inaccessible to others.
The year 1930 permanently places Dali as a prominent member of the surrealist movement, and a year later he creates one of his most important works – “The Persistence of Memory”.
However, his eccentricity and infatuation knew no bounds, the artist repeatedly saying “Suparealism is me”.
In 1936, at the opening of the London Surrealist exhibition, Dalí supports an introduction entitled “Authentic paranoid ghosts” and his outfit is a diving suit, with a billiard cue in his hand, next to two dogs, a frame which – he considered – it was the perfect illustration of the “deep dive” of the human consciousness, but the artist was very close to suffocating in his attempt to convince the public.
In 1945, Disney hired Dali to create a short-lived surrealistic animation, which was to be part of the “Fantasia” project. Disney has acquired the ballad “Destino” composed by Ray Gilbert and Armando Dominguez. The collaboration between Disney, Dali and artist John Hench lasted 8 months, in which they created over 200 sketches and drawings.
The project was not completed then, for several reasons: financial, Dali’s financial claims could not be met because of the economic problems that Disney studios had, ideologically, the two artists did not agree on the animation scenario. The surrealist animation “Destino” tells the love story between the immortal Cronos and the beautiful Dahlia, who tries to go beyond the limits of space and time to meet.
After more than 50 years, Walt Disney’s grandson, Roy E. Disney, has decided to revive his unique project. Producer Baker Bloodworth and director Dominique Monféry, along with 25 animators and cartoonists, have resumed the work of Dali and Disney, and the production of “Destino” has been completed.
In 2003, the surrealist animation is screened and presented to the public, at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France. In the same year, “Destino” was nominated for the Oscars, in the category “Best short animation”.
The oddities of the eccentric Dali were endlessly able to permanently shock the public.
In the 1960s, Salvador Dali took a leopard as a pet, which he named Babou and he carried with him on a leash almost everywhere. So did a restaurant in Manhattan, and when a local woman panicked, Dali calmly told her that the animal is a normal cat, over which she painted a leopard pattern.
We all start from somewhere, nothing starts from nothing, there is one hundred percent originality. Of course, we all have our roots somewhere, from my point of view, I speak of Flemish art, which influenced me a lot, but not as a theme, then, Dali, undoubtedly, or the surrealists, and although I was called by many critics as surreal, I do not consider myself a surrealist, the themes are not related to the surrealism as he started in literature and later in painting, there is something else, maybe the way of putting on canvas to resemble that of the surrealists, but my subject is completely different from their’s.
About surrealism and my paintings
Art is a living that cannot be done according to theories and does not have to be framed in currents and patterns. It is less important what you see as an artist, but what you make others see.
Many times in a work of art you can see the soul of the artist more than you could discover in a life of words. In order to be able to see the beauty around, including that of a painting, something must vibrate within us, there must be a touch of inner beauty.
We all have this kernel, but maybe we don’t all know it exists. We just have to discover this inner beauty core, to be able to perceive the beauty around. People who are deeply buried in the idea of finding this bit of “beautiful”, because they do not have time, because they have something else to do, because, maybe “not now”, they lose the privilege of a splash of joy and light. that exists every moment.
If you don’t see it today, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. He is there and is waiting to see, feel, perceive, listen, smell, tease, transmit, love … Find out first what you have in you and then everyone around you will gain another value, because everything around you is first and foremost a reflection of the universe within you and only you depend on understanding the world around you with your eyes closed or bright and wide open.
This is how a picture is understood. Discover in it what exists somewhere in you, see what you are prepared to see, and understand as much as you have allowed your universe to penetrate beyond appearances. It’s simple. The authenticity of a work means the inner revelation of the message started from the act of creation.
Pure art or art from nothing exists. We all have more or less conscious influences, we have roots that start not only from experiences, but also from artistic experience accumulated over time, from sedimented culture, from overlapping images of the art we love, or from memories and dreams. The depth of consciousness preserves scenes that happen, immortalizes the sensations associated with them, keeping their memory immaculate, and the beauty remains in the eyes of the artist who transposes it and resizes it according to its own laws and meanings.
For a hasty commentator, the most handy formula to which he is tempted to round up Ruxandra’s painting is surrealism.
And, of course, far from denying the fertile contact with the prestigious achievements of modern art, the young artist showed an undeniable predilection for the current. But what I find worth noting is that her painting is not reducible to the relation with this current. Perhaps, using the phrase magic realism, we get closer to the essence of the painting we refer to.
What an artist paints must be found in his soul and mind, not necessarily in what he sees in front of him, that the reproduction of nature and of an object is only a phase, in which the artist learns and this phase is nevertheless very important, for that, you can do nothing without knowing how to capture the reality and without reproducing it. Only then you can do what you feel and you can transform reality and nothing is in your way to make people dream, think, understand, see what you want or make them imagine what the soul they are able to discern from their reality and not yours.
I never liked the question “what did you want to say in this picture”. A picture is a accumulation of spiritual states, contradictions, questions, sensations. It is a part of the soul at a certain moment. It is a momentary, or eternal, experience. It is the image before or after … It is magical.
A picture cannot be reduced to a few words. A painting asks some questions, it does not give answers. A picture that reveals everything at first glance is poor. He needs a lifetime to create your sensations, to fascinate you. Enjoy not only your eyes, but especially your soul.
As Umberto Eco has created his books on several levels of reading, my paintings are created on several levels of perception and understanding. From philosophy, to the mere joy of looking. A question is often richer and more interesting than the answer itself. My paintings do not use typical symbols even though they most often reveal the fundamental unity of several areas of the real.
Light as a primordial element allows the passage and circulation from one level to another integrating forms and meanings without particularizing them. The light in this context will define the Life that tends towards rest, towards balance and unity in trying to imitate the spirit in the future or towards stability. Philosophical symbols with an apparent definition, identify, assimilate and unify heterogeneous plans and seemingly irreducible realities.
Man is a symbol himself and thus his existence is enriched and amplified. He will not be removed or alienated from himself, but on the contrary, he will reveal his own existence and destiny. Let us not try to destroy the understanding of the senses, by a fragmented understanding or explanation that would only lead to an easy disclosure of some of the experiences we all carry within us.
The theme of a painting depends a lot on my mood, but in general there are two categories of paintings. Some, which have a strong philosophical, metaphysical influence, others that are, I say, more playful in the sense of relaxation. This is where nature, fruit, and more strange themes come in, but in general, I really like to paint pictures with deep themes. One of my favorite topics or a problem that has been a concern for me for a long time is Timpul, in all its forms and all the approaches it can have, I read a lot about time, even physics, so everything is related time is fascinating to me.
As I said before, light is an important character in the paintings and, the light I try to pass it from a present time, to the past, I try to make a connection between the physical and the non-physical, between the mental and the concrete, that is how I choose the ideas and in a way, in fact I do not choose an idea, I do not sketch, although all the artists make sketches, because, in my mind, when I sit in front of a canvas, I do not do much the problem of white cloth or white paper is posed. My ideas are many and I do not have enough time to put them on the canvas, I was asked, even by critics about this, there are artists who make series of works, repeat some themes, why I would repeat them, if I I don’t have time to do those that are permanently succeeding in my thoughts?
Of course, some themes are coming up again, because in the meantime maybe my artistic vocabulary is enriched or my knowledge is enriched or an extra idea appears and then it seems to me that the idea would perfectly meld on an idea started a few years ago. years, completed at that time, but that I can carry on.
The composition simply sits on the canvas, I think about it, I put it on the canvas without making measurements. And in weightlessness there is a balance in the end. I think somewhere instinctively things are settled. Somehow through experience and what you feel and already, without pursuing as in college and at school certain points, you feel them, you know how to place them.
The eye feels that the work is balanced or not, the moment when something seems to me wrong, I rebalance as I feel. In the past, especially in the workshops where there was not much space, the artists used the mirror, that is, they put a mirror and see their painting, then you see it from a great distance and feel very good if the work is well on the page, but not I’m putting these balance issues on me, because they come by themselves. You put these problems in college and you are taught in college. At one point you no longer measure, you feel.
I do not impose rules, because I do not want the works to come out of certain canons or clear rules, because my painting has little to do with reality, but a painting, no matter how it is, has to have a balance. And chromatic and compositional, because otherwise he does not live. I dreamed of ideas, I didn’t dream of paintings, I dreamed of an idea and that idea transposed it. Many say they paint what they dream. No, I paint what I think and imagine. As Paul Klee said “Art does not reproduce the visible, it does a visible thing”.
I’m not just painting for myself, I’m painting for people. I do not like the idea of artists “I paint and I do not care what others think”, of course I am interested because for people painting, they have to enjoy what they see, they have to ask questions, they have to like what what do I see, if they want to decorate their house, very nice, if they want to have a painting just to look at it or take it because I love it, and it happened to me, and my husband and I are art collectors , so we buy art, we don’t have just my paintings in the house. Which means that I am very happy to see and to have in the house what others have painted, I like, I am pleased to see and then, in my turn, I hope that what others see in my painting to them I am glad and it is normal for the love of people to play a role, even though people are not represented in my painting, the characters as I said are timeless, I rarely do portraits, but those are interpreted, I do not show my love in front of people necessarily painting them, there are many painters who paint portraits, it is wonderful, I have another approach and maybe another way to show my love for people.
It is said that each painter, in the portrait of others, puts something of his own physiognomy, perhaps without wanting.