Surrealism vs Realism
What is Realism ? What is Surrealism? What are the differences and the similarities to each other? What makes them unique? Which is the best? ( Personal Opinion )
What is Realism? Realism is cultural and intellectual movement, of the 19-th century, that include some areas of social life as art, politics, music, literature, science, moral etc. We cannot say in music that we have less or more realistic music because is more their plots rather than music that makes them classified towards realistic movement. (Brian, Pauls, Realism and Naturalism) .Realism today is being dominant in television and TV shows. We have various of reality shows now days that have over populated the TV programs. Realism in art was the movement against romanticism and they believed in the philosophy of “objective reality” and were against the exaggerated emotionalism of Romanticism.
What is Surrealism? Surrealism is also a cultural and intellectual movement but of 20-th century. The word Surrealism comes from sur-realite, translated means “beyond reality”. As Realism, this movement includes a various types of social areas but the most popular one was art. “The surrealists were bored with the real world, with the normal means of expression.” (Salvador Dali, The Great Hispanic Heritage; McNeese, Tim: 11). So they decided to express the world in a strange way. To express their philosophy and feeling they were based on Sigmund Freud psycho-analysis of the unconscious and they also strongly believed in interpretations of dreams and exploring the darkest corners of the mind. I want to mention here Salvador Dali, who is “the most famous and enduringly influential painter of all the surrealists, but also the one who did most to reduce the movement to a cliché” (Daoust, Phil. “ The Guardian” Tuesday 18 September 2001)
What are the differences and similarities to each other? Realism, as I mentioned before is the kind of art that “copies” the reality as it is, without expression and being honest this is kind of boring. Just capturing a moment and drawing it as more as realistic you can gets you closer to photography, but of course that needs more skills than photography. On the other hand Surrealism is more expressing one. Surrealism tries to understand and explain the everyday reality of the world in a very mystic and bizarre way, as drawing the unconscious , and tries to take us to different world of mysticism that our mind have never imagined before. Surrealists used a very high technique of drawing so they can make their dream world as real as they can. “Salvador Dali used highly realistic technique to create what he called, hand-painted dream photographs” . Even though this two kind of arts seems so opposites essentially they are somehow the same, because both kind of art tries to express our concerns of daily life, they try to express reality, even though in different ways. Another similarity is that both try to create an object that is close to perception of human eye and mind. Surrealists don’t paint abstract shapes, they paint weird ones, but obeying to laws of perspective, light and shadow like Realists also do.
Surrealism and Realism are two kind of movements that have over populated television and fashion. Realism dominates in Television as Surrealism dominates in fashion. Why Realism in TV-shows and Surrealism in fashion? “Modernism challenged realism’s dominance in literature and the fine arts nearly a century ago, but in popular fiction, film, and television, realism continues to be the dominant narrative form”. Today we have a lot of TV-shows called reality show. I would like to mention some of this shows like: “Big Brother”, “Extreme Makeover”, “Kafazi I Arte”, “Albanian’s Next Top Model”, “Dancing with the stars” , “ The voice of Albania” and many more. Realism is dominant in television because in this programs characters chose their behavior and their actions, so this bring people closer to preferred character and they share various kind of emotions with the character such as love, fear, hope and even lust. (Booker, 2002). Meanwhile, Surrealism dominates in fashion world. Fashion historian Richard Martin said “Surrealism remains fashion’s favorite art” ( Wood Ghislaine, “Surreal Things”, 2007). Surrealism has been and it is an influential art in fashion because of its ideas of recreating a dream and weird expression. Surrealists have a very creative mind and this kind of art need a lot of imagination and that’s what one good fashion designer need, imagination.
Which is the best? In my opinion Surrealism wins this match because to me Surrealism is more beautiful, expressive, interesting and mystical than realism. For example if you are in a gallery of an excellent realistic painter, you go through the first painting and the first thing that comes to mind is how beautiful and real the painting look and you move very fast to the other painting and so on. If you are looking to an excellent surrealist painter you will go at the first picture and the first impression is “ ? ”. From “ ? ” you start to think “What the painter meant with that?” and “What this mean ?” so the painting absorb you to her message, that is hidden to symbols, and you start to think, you start to think what painter was thinking on the moment he painted that and you briefly feel the same way, so the painting feeds your imagination and your way of understanding and interpreting world and reality around you. That’s why I vote for Surrealism.
Booker, M. K. (2002). “Strange TV: innovative television series from The twilight zone to The X-files”. Greenwood Press.
Brian, P. (1998, March 13). Realism and Naturalism.
Daoust, P. (2001, September 18). “The earth is blue like an orange”. An A-Z of surrealism.
Marshment, M., & Hallam, J. (1994, June). “ A review of contemporary media ”.
McNeese, T. (2006). “Salvador Dali”. New York: Chelsea House, ISBN 0-7910-8837-5.
Schaefer, M. (2011, November 11). “Dali, Salvador”.
Wood, G. (2007). “Surreal things” (Vol. 1st edition ). Victoria & Albert Museum.
 Schaefer, Marilyn, “Dali, Salvador”, scholastic.com <http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3754356>
 Marshment, Margaret & Hallem, Julia “ A review of contemporary media ” <www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC39folder/OrangesNotOnlyFruit.html>