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Label: surrealism

Wednesday 23rd November 2016Cooking with Gala

Salvador Dali is arguably one of the most famous artists in the world, and certainly one of the most famous artists of the Surrealist movement. Famous for his gorgeously complex, detailed and - obviously - surreal paintings, his ridiculous upturned moustache and the parties that he hosted/attended, it may come as a complete surprise that he once wrote a cookbook.

Yes, an actual cookbook, with recipes that you could make. If you were Dali. A Dali who was not particularly hungry but wanted to look at something gorgeously ridiculous. Original copies of the book are probably quite rare, but it is at last being republished in grand style by Taschen, famous for their exquisite and often unwieldy books for a scant 45 euros. Entitled Les Dîners de Gala, the book is available now, with this precautionary preface from Dali:

"We would like to state clearly that, beginning with the very first recipes, Les Diners de Gala, with its precepts and its illustrations, is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste. Don’t look for dietetic formulas here.

We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you."

Apparently, Dali wanted to be chef when he was a child, before falling in love with the arts. This love of food is visible throughout a large number of his pieces - who, after all, could forget the lobster telephone?

Later in life, he became famous for his exquisite dinner parties, with some of the world's most famous chefs preparing the meals. Guests were all required to wear incredibly elaborate costumes in order to be let in the door, and wild animals like Dali's pet ocelot Babou would wander freely around the table.

"I only like to eat what has a clear and intelligible form. If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty.

I attribute capital esthetic and moral values to food in general, and to spinach in particular. The opposite of shapeless spinach, is armor. I love eating suits of arms, in fact I love all shell fish… food that only a battle to peel makes it vulnerable to the conquest of our palate."

We hope you're confusing and delighting the hell out of everyone wherever you are now, Senor Dali.
 

Posted on November 23rd 2016 on 01:45am
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Friday 13th March 2015Genre Spotlight: Surrealism

We're going to be starting a new recurring series here at Gallereo, in a similar vein to our Artist Spotlight series, but taking a broader view and looking at artistic genres as a whole. Our hope is that we'll be able to give a bit of a bigger picture of the movements that lie behind and surround some of the world's most popular artists, and maybe even inspire some of you to experiment with new genres that you otherwise might have ignored! To that end, we start the series today with a quick look at Surrealism, that most whimsical and mystifying of all artistic genres.

First getting started in the 1920s in Europe, Surrealism originally had two opposing parties of artists who squabbled over the usage and priority of the term. These arguments got so heated that at one point, the leaders of the two factions, Andre Breton and Yvan Goll, actually got into a physical fight in the middle of the Champs Elysee in Paris, France. Breton's faction eventually proved the stronger, though history does not seem to relate who won the fistfight.

His unique definition of Surrealism also triumphed, as he describes it:
Dictionary: Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.

Encyclopedia: Surrealism. Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life.

Some of the most famous Surrealist artists are household names, now viewed with reverence: Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Rene Magritte and Joan Miro, not to mention Andre Breton himself, are names that every art student has run across, and their popularity is still evident in university campuses around the world, who regularly feature shows, film festivals, and other celebrations of the Surrealist canon. Much of what we regard as postmodern has roots and themes that can be traced back to the Surrealist movement, and that leaves much of today's popular art an evolving legacy of the Surrealists. 
 

Posted on March 13th 2015 on 01:01pm
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Wednesday 18th June 2014Artist Spotlight: Myeongbeom Kim

In this edition of the Artist Spotlight, we're going to take a look at Myeongbeom Kim, a sculptor trained on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Originally studying in Seoul, South Korea, and earning a Bachelor of Fine Art in Environmental Sculpture, he began to study and sculpt for his Master's Degree at the famous Art Institute of Chicago. Since then, he has been dividing his living and working time between Seoul and Chicago, and it seems like this duality may have created an interest in intersections of culture, as the theme of unexpected intersection seems to run throughout the majority of his work. The results are nothing short of zen surrealism, if such a thing can be said to exist at all (although this question itself might be said to be zen surrealism). .

Each piece has a stunning simplicity, but captures a haunting, surreal beauty and makes you do a double take. The intersection of man-made objects and the natural world is a frequent source of subject matter, but one of this writer's personal favourites is the one-legged chair being held up by a giant cluster of helium balloons.

Speaking to mymodernmet.com, Kim had this to say about his work: "I try to examine how my surroundings are perceived and remembered. To do this, I listen to a whisper from the objects within my surroundings. I attempt to have an intimate, private dialogue with the world, trying to concretely present the way things approach me, by using other mediums.

"To ask what an objects means to me is like asking what being I am. I have consistently experienced my surrounding objects from the perspective of life, growth, and decline, which lends vitality to my work."

Considering the importance of life, growth, and decline, it will be interesting to see how the young tree to which a wooden chair was affixed will grow around the sculpture. While I have a few reservations about using actual living plants in artistic works, I'm still curious to see how it will turn out both visually and conceptually. It's no wonder that Kim has been featured in galleries around the world, as well as received numerous awards and plaudits for his work.

To see his portfolio of work, visit his website here (although it appears to be a bit buggy, which is disappointing - guess he should have used Gallereo!)

Posted on June 18th 2014 on 03:45pm
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