At Critic - Surrealism- Research Journal

            Considerable and informed opinion can create art appreciation. It creates confidence and interest when judging art. Students can apply this knowledge in judging their personal work

Red Stripe Kitchen is a photomontage combining two photos. The first was an interior shot of designer home kitchen, ornamented in the fashionable modernist fashion. It is gleaming white from floor to ceiling. (Bowles, 2011)The use of a kitchen denotes women. Red highlights found in dishes and appliances interrupt the dazzling white. It symbolizes blood. It is divided into foreground, middle ground, and background. The other photo shows two combat ready Marines snooping around in the pantry. They are searching the kitchen. The same type of search was performed by U.S. soldiers in Vietnamese villages alleged of aiding Viet Cong guerillas. Max Rosler exposes the kitchen as a battleground. The photomontage directly relates women’s oppression to militarism and overseas imperial. The place is still to show shock as its privacy is invaded.

This photomontage was done by Hannah Hoch in 1931. It shows a man in a muscular show off but facing danger from pointed objects below. Outlines are bold and clear to bring out shapes. Chiaroscuro is utilized to bring dimension on the sharp objects. The figure is arranged in a triangle format. It brings balance. It has a low chroma key.

Soft construction with boiled beans was done in 1936 with oil on canvas. It was done to depict the horrors of the Spanish civil war.  (Ades, 1976)  Dali saw his country like this figure. The decomposing figure tears itself apart. It stands for the physical and emotional self-conflict in Spain. During this war, Spain was both the victim and the aggressor. The vast, grotesque body rips itself apart and registers pain in its grimace. At the lower left, there is a little professor inspecting the curling hand at the bottom left. There are also morsels of boiled beans to show the ancient Catalan offering to appease the gods. The scattered beans demonstrate the peculiar incongruities of extent he used to conjure the workings of the unconscious mind.

It is oil, paper, and metal on panel piece that was done in 1920 by a Russian artist called El Lissitzky. Proun is a Russian phrase that means; “project for the establishment of a new art. El Lissitzky was pledged to the idea that a society can be set free through abstract art. He produced his work after the Russian revolution. The floating forms of the prouns suggest the spirit of flight. This expresses the revolutionaries’ mankind’s hopefulness. It is an organization of dispersed geometric shapes positioned along axes. (Prosyniuk, 1993) These shapes are observed from an aerial perception. They look like architectural drawings set in motion.  The combination of paper, metal and oil paint on wood creates texture. They show the dynamism. There is no balance.

This art work was created when African Americans could not vote. They could not mix with “whites”. The photomontage presents a skull-faced white man. Fearsome images sprout from the mind. The images are tortured, and murdered. Black men are roasting in fires set by people waving flags. These people are members of Ku Klux Klan. (Rainey, 2005) The color of fire shows the fury. The skull is tilted and pictures scattered. It is imbalanced to show commotion.

Fire side angel was created by max Ernest in 1937. An indescribable creature storms with rage through a deserted environment. (Desai and mattson, 2009) It has a high chroma key. Calling it an angel represents that embracing supercilious, and exalted ideas may lead us to the sin. The Italian fascists under Mussolini attacked Ethiopia in 1936. Max Ernest was expressing the gathering threat engulfing the world at that time. The creature is colored and enormous.


            Art plays an important role in the lives of people. It provides a contemplative side to life. Art from the past can be difficult to interpret. However, everyone has their own opinion.

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