Surrealism Tattoos: Exploring the Surreal Style
If you’re a fan of tattoo art, you’ve probably heard of surrealist tattoos. These unique and eye-catching tattoos are inspired by the surrealist art movement, which emerged in the early 20th century. Surrealist tattoos often feature distorted and dreamlike images, blending together elements of the real world with the fantastical and absurd.
But what exactly is the surrealist tattoo style, and what makes it so special? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the history and origins of surrealist tattoos, delve into popular themes and symbols, and highlight some of the top surrealist tattoo artists and studios. We’ll also discuss body placement and aftercare for these intricate tattoos.
So if you’re considering getting a surrealist tattoo, or just want to learn more about this fascinating tattoo style, read on!
History and Origins of Surrealist Tattoos
The surrealist art movement was founded in the 1920s by a group of artists and writers who were inspired by the theories of Sigmund Freud and his concept of the unconscious mind. Surrealist artists sought to tap into the irrational and dreamlike aspects of the unconscious through their art, resulting in works that often featured strange and seemingly unrelated objects, as well as distorted or ambiguous imagery.
The surrealist movement had a significant influence on various forms of art, including literature, painting, and film. It wasn’t until much later that surrealist tattoo art emerged as its own distinct style.
The first recorded instance of a surrealist tattoo was in the late 1970s, when tattoo artist Spider Webb tattooed a surrealist-inspired design on a client. From there, the style began to gain popularity and spread to other tattoo artists.
Today, surrealist tattoos are a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts who appreciate the unique and artistic qualities of the style. They often feature distorted and dreamlike images, blending together elements of the real world with the fantastical and absurd.
This style is characterized by optical illusions, a combination of the incongruous, hidden meaning in the details.
If you want to make a tattoo in a surrealistic style – you can choose the motif of one of the paintings of this trend or create your own fantasy world. This guarantees that no one else but you will have such a tattoo.
Abstract surrealism is characterized by the arbitrariness of forms. Academic surrealism – images are made according to all the rules of academic drawing (shadows, contours, perspective), but the content of such paintings does not lend itself to the usual logic. This surrealism can only look graphically simple from a distance, but on closer inspection it surprises by the variety of details, the careful study of every detail.
Surrealism should not be limited by any moral norms and principles, as it contradicts the very essence of the genre. It should literally break boundaries, show familiar things in a completely new light, open up new facets of reality.
Surrealism style tattoos are extremely complex, elaborate plots and images executed with great accuracy. There is no definite interpretation within this trend – each work receives only the meaning that the author puts into it.
Elements of the tattoo can be very different, from geometric figures, in the interweaving of which the deception of perspective and visual illusions are embodied, to unusual images. Popularly used mythical creatures, flowers, various strange objects. It is also possible to apply a fragment of a painting by famous surrealist artists, such as Dali, Kandinsky, Magritte, Fuchs, Klee, and many others. A classic of the genre and a popular motif of surrealist tattoos can be considered a “soft clock” by Dali, which became a symbol of fleeting time.
Popular Surreal Themes and Symbols
One of the defining characteristics of surrealist tattoos is their use of strange and seemingly unrelated objects, as well as distorted or ambiguous imagery. This can take many forms, from realistic illustrations that are combined in unexpected ways, to more abstract and symbolic designs.
Some popular themes and symbols in surrealist tattoos include:
- Animals: Surrealist tattoos often feature animals in strange or distorted ways, such as a bird with human-like hands or a fish with a human face.
- Nature: Surrealist tattoos may incorporate elements of nature, such as flowers or trees, but in unexpected and dreamlike ways.
- Objects: Surrealist tattoos may feature objects such as clocks, keys, or playing cards, often in unusual or distorted ways.
- Portraiture: Surrealist tattoos may include portraits of people or figures, but with elements of distortion or surrealism added.
- Dreams and the unconscious: As the surrealist art movement was inspired by Freud’s concept of the unconscious mind, it’s no surprise that dreams and the unconscious are popular themes in surrealist tattoos. These tattoos may feature dreamlike landscapes or scenes, or symbols associated with the unconscious, such as eyes or keys.
Many clients prefer to ink surrealist paintings or sketches of famous surrealist artists. Here are some popular representatives of this direction of art whose subjects are used in tattoos.
- Salvador Dali, already mentioned above. It is this Spanish genius who first comes to mind when it comes to Surrealism. Death, eroticism, decay, time – this is not a complete set of concepts that gave Salvador inspiration.
- René Magritte. The triumph of paradox is the main feature of the paintings of this Belgian master. Initially, his paintings may seem quite simple, but if you look at the canvas more closely, you begin to notice details and more complex associations emerge. One comes to realize that even such a simple image can be very deep and multifaceted.
- Frida Kahlo is a symbol of Mexican art. All of her paintings are incredibly emotional. Her self-portraits, built on the contrast of images and colors, the contrast of life and death, good and evil, often become the sketches for the tattoo.
Hopefully these names and their work will help inspire you to create your own surrealist tattoo sketches.
Surrealist Tattoo Artists
If you’re considering getting a surrealist tattoo, it’s important to do your research and find a skilled and experienced tattoo artist who specializes in the style. Here are a few top surrealist tattoo artists and studios to check out:
Inspired by the Avant-garde art movement of the 20th century, Conio’s tattoos blend bold lines and solid black backgrounds with chaotic dotwork and sketch strokes. He also incorporate textured inserts to add depth and variety to my designs.
Based in Hamburg, Germany, Poesis is a tattoo artist with a passion for surrealist tattoo art. Karamanolis’ tattoos often feature animals and nature, but with a surrealist twist.
Based in Amsterdam, Jakk is known for his highly-detailed and intricately-designed surrealist tattoos. Jakk’s tattoos often feature dreamlike landscapes and insects, as well as distorted and abstract elements.
Popular surrealism tattoos
Conclusion: The Allure of Surrealist Tattoos
Surrealist tattoos are a unique and artistic tattoo style that’s inspired by the surrealist art movement. These tattoos often feature strange and seemingly unrelated objects, as well as distorted or ambiguous imagery, blending together elements of the real world with the fantastical and absurd. If you’re considering getting a surrealist tattoo, it’s important to do your research and find a skilled and experienced tattoo artist who specializes in the style.