COMD3504 - Section OL69 - Spring 2022

Sadman Hafiz-Discussion 11b

  1. I’m interested in exploring surrealism. I have encountered several surrealistic designs and paintings recently in my previous classes. I was instantly hooked on it because of the uniqueness and the deepness of the surreal works. 
  2. The reason for my interest in surrealism is because the works highlight very strong meanings in a visual manner which forces the audience to realize things that they would not realize normally. Surrealist paintings have no bounds and artists can use any kind of elements they want to create meanings within meanings. I have also worked on a project last semester, it was a drawing that used surrealism, I think I have shared it in the very first discussion that we had for this class.
  3. It’s a little difficult to find recent trends since surrealism was invented in 1924 by Andre Breton but there have been many surrealist graphic designs and paintings done by different artists and designers which I can look into. I can also use previous trends that followed surrealism.
  4. I think these designs or artwork can be perceived through Walter Gropius’s theories that we read at beginning of the semester. He mentioned that all forms of artwork and design should solve problems and highlight problems that society needs to know about. I believe Surrealistic works do a lot of these, works that I have seen symbolize life, society, and mental health and it does it in such a strong visual manner that the audiences can’t ignore. 
  5. I believe that Barthes’s rhetoric of the image can be a very interesting reading to use on surrealism. I can try to use his points to try a breakdown of the elements used in surrealist works. Some of the graphic designs that use surrealism even have text on them so it will be nice to see how it works out. 
  6. I can hopefully formulate a theory of my own but will definitely need to do more research.

I am not sure if surrealism is a topic I can use for the finals. Most of the works done on surrealism are before the 80s and even the artists and designers that I found so far are also from before the 80s. I would like to know what you think professor.

1 Comment

  1. Prof. Matthew C. Lange

    You’ve got some great ideas to work with, Sadman!

    I completely agree that Barthes’ ideas would be very interesting for exploring surrealist images. The idea of playing around with visual signs is central to surrealist thinking. But you are right to recognize that the Surrealist movement took place long before the time period that we want to think about for these presentations. I would also add that most of the original Surrealists were not really thinking about design – they were more interested in fine art.

    However, the influence of Surrealism has been long-lasting, especially in different aspects of designs. You could most certainly think about some of the ways that Surrealism is still very present in design. There are countless album covers and ad campaigns that pay homage to surrealist works, and at least a few that reproduce the actual paintings. You might address surrealist images in pop music. Or in fashion ads.

    There are also a number of designers and illustrators that have reinvented surrealist ideas in more contemporary forms. April Greiman’s early digital work comes to mind. Or Viviane Sassen’s fashion photos. Or I recently came across the work of an illustrator named Cristina Daura who seems to make some interesting images.

    These are just a few initial thoughts. I would recommend exploring some design sites such as Print Magazine or AIGA Eye on Design for additional ideas.

    Hope this is helpful!

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