How does the power of the human imagination influence artists and designers in producing fantastic, dreamlike creation? Have you ever imagined you slept in an ‘over-sized’ shirt, as a bed you usually sleep on? Have you ever dreamt about dressing into a hot air balloon or have you ever thought that you saw a strange thing in the world which was a fish but had a human body? People always think these kinds of thoughts are over the top, but this is all about fantasy, our dreams and human imagination. Designers are able to create fascinating work; artists are able to construct gorgeous creations, because of the human imagination. In 1940 Dali summed up his aspiration to create objects, ‘I try to create fantastic things, magical things and things like a dream. The world needs more fantasy. Our civilization is too mechanical.’ I will never forget his words, especially when he said, ‘We can make the fantastic real and then it is more real than that which actually exists.’ I agree with him. I think the world needs more fantasy. People seem to forget how to dream and what dreams are. They are too sensible now. In my personal study, I would like to look at how the power of the human imagination influences artists and designers in their creations.
I will first of all look at the surrealism movement which first appeared in Paris in 1924. In Oxford Intermediate Learner’s Dictionary, ‘surreal’ is an adjective which means images mixed together in a strange way like in a dream. In art, it is an expression of eccentric thoughts of the subconscious mind. Surrealist artists always create something which people think are nonsense, because their creation is influenced by their imagination and it is something that comes from dreams.
There were lots of famous artists who came from the surrealism movement; Rene Magritte is one of the popular artists within this movement. Unlike other surrealist artists’ work, of rich and complex layers, Magritte’s works are straight forward and accessible. In “Magritte” written by Richard Calvocoressi, he described the way Magritte’s style was concentrated on the relation between the image of an object and object itself. I am totally in agreement with him. In addition, I have chosen to look at The Listening Room by Magritte. This is an example of the relation between the object and another object, by reducing the size of the room and enlarging the size of the apple. Magritte had tried to provoke a reaction from the audience.
I found this picture especially interesting, because it clearly demonstrates how the artist uses his imagination and sub conscious to express his ideas. In 1956, Magritte wrote, ‘For me the conception of a picture is an idea of one thing or several things that can become visible through my painting.’ I think Magritte means that his paintings are a means of expressing his ideas and his imagination.
In The Listening Room which has a gigantic apple in its tiny room is one of the examples of Magritte’s variation of the objects scale. The apple is depicted realistically but the fact that it is so large within the room is very disconcerting. We cannot tell whether the apple is too big or the room is undersized.
In his book Richard Calvocoressi has interpreted the painting as “a feeling of claustrophobia, of near panic,” this is generated by the sight of the objects, “behaving irrationally or adopting human characteristics.” I strongly agree with his idea that the painting makes you feel breathless in the room which makes the audience have a deep impression.
In ‘VOGUE’ April 2006, there was an article with a surreal photograph which linked in the topic of ‘Small space, Big Idea’. The idea of the picture is basically same as ‘The listening room’. A model suffered in an unfitted room which is as big as she is. It seems that the model is a giant, otherwise is a model come to a draft house. When I first look at this picture, a feel of claustrophobia and uncomfortable were came into my...
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