Surrealism can certainly be classified as unconventional art. The word surreal is often used to describe something that is different, dreamlike, strange or simply bizarre. When you look at any surrealist work of art you can see exactly why the movement was coined as such.
It is believed that many of the well-known surrealist artists used techniques such as automatic writing or drawing to enable them to unlock images and ideas from their unconscious minds, therefore so many of the images depicted are of dream worlds or other confusing or bizarre subjects.
Perhaps the most well-known surrealist artist is Salvador Dali, with paintings like ‘The Persistence of Memory’ depicting what appears to be melting clocks on a barren wasteland. Dali is also known for his optical illusion range of paintings, such as the instantly recognizable one of and elderly man and woman looking at each other. When you look closer at the image it shows something very different.
Other famous surrealist artists include, Andre Breton, Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso – although Picasso’s style fit into several other artistic movements too including cubism and post-impressionism.
When Breton died in 1966, it is thought that surrealism ended, however, many will argue that the movement is still going strong today.