Suprising insights from surrealist website

Caitilin Punshon
I like to visit the One Surrealist a Day website. This website has one surrealist artwork every day. Surrealist art tries to show things as they are felt or even dreamt by people. Bodies are painted and drawn in weird but wonderful ways. Eyes are too big and sometimes heads are replaced by balloons or fish. The pictures may seem strange and mysterious. But they may be trying to show how people feel in their lives. Surrealist pictures help us appreciate ourselves and the world.
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Caitilin Punshon on 16/02/2012
A photo of Rene Magritte in a suit in front of a framed picture of a bodyless suit and bowler hat.

Magritte was a renowed surrealist artist.

Most of us find life strange enough as it is. But if you want a little more uncertainty in your world One Surrealist a Day might be just the place for you. This website features a different surrealist artwork each day. What you see here may horrify, delight or intrigue you. Regardless of your response, this art is likely to alter your outlook on life.


Surrealist art and literature explores the subconscious mind. It seeks to free the imagination by celebrating the irrational and the unexpected. Surrealism shows things not as they literally appear but rather as they are sensed or even dreamt. Often it does this through juxtaposing or combining unrelated images and ideas.

Art by renowned surrealists such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and Joan Miró is exhibited on the website. Equally talented but less recognised artists like Remedios Varo and Edith Rimmington also feature. A lot of the artwork is from the first half of the 20th century. However, there are also numerous examples of contemporary surrealist art. The images are high quality and some are accompanied by explanatory notes. At times these offer insight into the art. Occasionally they merely add to the confusion.

Human figures

Many images are of human figures although they rarely resemble the ones we inhabit. In some cases these representations can be disturbing. Female bodies in particular often appear as objects rather than depictions of actual women. This is unfortunately typical of a lot of this art style. What is interesting about the portrayal of bodies in surrealist art is the way it can communicate a different kind of experience.

Limbs in these artworks tend to warp and stretch. Torsos hold cabinets of horrors or wonders. Eyes are frequently oversized, while heads get replaced by balloons or flowers or even fish. That is if they are not missing altogether. To many viewers such pictures probably just seem strange. But for those of us whose physical form or ability differ from what is considered normal they may contain more meaning.

Surprising insights

It is not always easy to explain our experiences. This includes the way we move and sense and feel. It also applies to how we understand our lives. Surrealist art gives visual form to thoughts and sensations that are usually experienced in emotional or physical ways. It does not make rational sense. But neither do our lives most of the time.

All art invites us to appreciate ourselves and our world anew. Surrealist art deepens this experience. It presents us with a world that is mysterious and more complex than that which is normally seen. This world is unusual, sometimes uncomfortable, and far from being ordinary. For all its strangeness, it is a place you may recognise. It might even express something about your life.

Whether you are seeking meaning or diversion, sense or nonsense, One Surrealist a Day is an interesting website to visit. You'll be surprised by what you find there.

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