Started in Europe during the early 1920's, Surrealism has risen to new and exciting heights since the dawn of the digital age. A new generation of artists have emerged who explore the subconscious mind, who freely meander between what's real and unreal. Using tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, they bring to life our nightmares and dreams, creating beautiful, dark, and often times bizarre art that leaves us speechless.
Below, you'll find ten artists from around the world who have been hand-picked for their own, unique style. The common thread? All of their pieces contain an element of surprise, an interesting juxtaposition that is beautiful in an unconventional way. I hope you enjoy this collection and that it inspires you to see beauty even in the darkest of places.
Hailing from Belgium, surreal artist and photographer Ben Goossens is an ex-art director who, after retiring, decided to turn his attention to creating photo montages. His distinct style is reminiscent of his fellow countryman and famous surrealist artist, Rene Magritte. Goossens has received numerous international photography awards, including Gold and Silver medals at the Trierenberg Super Circuit, an annual contest for artistic photography.
Beautifully haunting but in a sweet way, Goossens work reminds us of fantastic dreams in faraway places.
Kiyo Murakami has a magical portfolio filled with beautiful photo manipulations. From Tokyo, Japan, Murakami is a unique artist who can make surreal art stand out for its breathtaking beauty. Each photo tells its own spellbinding story, carrying an air of mystery and intrigue.
Wojciech Grzanka, aka Voogee, is a photographer and web designer from a small town called Jelcz-Laskowice, Poland. His series of surreal photos is called It's All In My Head. In them, man is seen pitted against himself, showing us that we're often the cause of our own misery and frustration.
“I'm a typical self-taught – making a lot of mistakes.. there's still a lot to learn… This is precisely what attracted me to photography – endless variety of ways to consolidate moments …” – Wojciech Grzanka
Suliman AL-Mawash, aka abo_fahod_75, is a 33 years old graphic designer from Kuwait. He started working with graphic design in 1998 and is current employed at Kuwait TV. Regarded as one of Kuwaiti's top modern artists of the new age, Almawash manages to delight and surprise us with his stunning work.
Claudia, Phatpuppy Creations
Claudia or phatpuppycreations a digital artist specializing in photomontages. Her beautiful, surreal art carries with it a lightness that is set off by the way she portrays light. She currently lives in Southern California.
Based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, Jerico Santander is a digital artist who's a master at photo manipulation. His 3D art seems to pop off the page, and the way he creates stunning scenery is unlike anything we've ever seen. He describes his job as “welding many images together building up a totally new one,” and he sees “digital art as an extension from collage.”
Luis Beltrn is a talented photographer from Valencia, Spain. His black and white photos all have a quiet beauty to them. Wonderfully poetic, in a pure and sweet way, his photos take you to a far away land that exists between nightmares and dreams.
The best way to describe advertising and graphic designer Michael Ticcino is by his own words. As he states, “My art has always been commercial, as I have been in Advertising my entire career. Now, as I mature, I feel the need to create for myself. I use a camera as one vehicle and a computer as another. The process varies. Sometimes it begins and ends with the camera and other times the camera is only the first step. I tend to think of the process as making an image or impression rather than photography. Although I love my camera it's just a means to an end.”
We love that his photos give us a different perspective and what is real and what is possible. He currently lives in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
If you're looking for a true neosurrealist, look no further than Yves Lecoq. A photographer who currently resides in Entre Angers et Nantes, France, Lecoq has a simple but unique storytelling style. Combining dreams, fantasies, and the subconscious mind, his work pushes artistic envelopes, making us wonder just how he comes up with these strange and surreal stories.
A self-professed art lover, riopel2dali says that photography, painting and cinema are things that feed his world. From Montral, Qubec, riopel2dali creates images that have a melancholy feel to them, as if dark clouds have slowly rolled in and don't ever have plans to leave.
Other Resources and Examples:
Incorporating Surrealism Concepts into Your Digital Artwork
Bizarre Surreal and Dark Art Pictures
Amazing Surrealism Inspiration in Digital Arts
Impressive and Creative Digital Surrealism
101 Weird and Creative Examples of Surreal Artworks