How to understand surreal art?

Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali. Two well-known names worldwide. The first, was one of the best neurologist of the 20th century, The second, fantastic surreal painter everyone heard about. What connects those two individuals? Well… Surrealism

Freud identified a deep layer of the human mind where memories and our most basic instincts are stored. He called this the unconscious since most of the time we are not aware of it. The aim of surrealism was to reveal the unconscious and reconcile it with rational life. Salvador's Dali paints were highly influenced by this logic. 
It is incredible how little we know about our minds and how much there is to discover. In my opinion, art builds the bridge between the consciousness and the endless imagination, deep, dramatic atmosphere, irrational - unconscious mind. 

    Nowadays, in the era of digital photography and photoshop, it’s easier than ever to create surreal art.  Beyond a camera and a laptop, you just need an idea - or a ‘vision’ - and a little bit of patience (practice makes perfect after all!).

Creative, interesting, disturbing, original - surreal photography is definitely different than everything out there. For me, It helps to create a story, atmosphere and unforgettable journey you never want to end. It’s not just a picture. It’s a combination of elements which separately mean nothing, but It all changes when you find the right way to put them together. In the world of surrealism everything is possible, and your only limitation is your own imagination.

I started experimenting with surrealism when I discovered double exposure photography. It’s a technique which involves overlaying pictures on top of each other. Check out some of the great modern surreal images featured in this article on 500px:

Double exposure… well I didn’t want to stop on just two. I realised quite fast that having only two images doesn’t give me much to work with. So I decided to go further. Some of my works are a combination of 5 and more images to create a dramatic light, depth, intensive colour contrast, texture. All those puzzles together create an original image you probably haven’t seen before.

Piotr Skoczylas

Piotr Photography, Cardiff

Cardiff based surreal portrait photographer. Being different makes a difference.