Teju Cole recently wrote what I thought was the best breakdown on the subject of surrealist photography, and managed against what seems like all odds to prepare a short introduction for The New York Times Magazine while maintaining empathy with the topic. Cole writes with clarity. I like feeling located, right side up, full, and I like fine, lapidary, complete, formal, or natural shapes. Naturalism is good, and I think his writing is chiefly an example of naturalism.
I have an artist friend that says he hates surrealism. Hate hates it. Andre Breton’s “Communicating Vessels”, I can’t say that I really have a slew of feelings for it, but it goes the furthest in terms of explaining the feeling of surrealism. Maybe it is a little corny, but this explains the surrealist movement, as such…
(Photo Credit: Trevor Hernandez)
Surrealism has a hold in photography, the best small book is currently unavailable, but the Thames and Hudson book “Surrealist Photography”, part of the “Photofile” series, is as good as it gets, if you are looking for an introduction, and you can find it. Mind you, The Camera Store does have some examples of what one might call surrealist photography. If you are curious, and in Calgary, you should stop by, and take a look.