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Surreal? Sure. Yeah. 👍🏻

At times in my art, I've tried to be surreal. Feels a little like cheating.

Attempted surrealism is easy. Real, committed surrealism is hard. Or at least harder. The surreal image should have at least a toe in the real, reasonably recognizable world, to give the viewer (or reader, if it's surrealist prose) some foundation. It can at least seem to make sense, at some level; we just won't necessarily get it. But it's too easy to just make up disconnected bits of whatever and say "It's surreal!"

I've never been particularly good at surreal art; I haven't practiced much of it. I tried with this collage in high school, and it's a mixed bag. The original image is of an F-14 Tomcat coming in for a landing. I added to it:


I'm happiest with the subtler additions, like the large cliff on the right side. Most of the rest seems too stuck-on (figuratively as well as literally), though I do like that the mummified ant is a giant, horizon-straddling artifact. It's mountain-sized, unlike any ant ever. (We hope.)

I sort of acknowledged that I was doing images for images' sake when, in a college art class at University of Oregon, I did these storyboards for an animated sequence I never did. I think I didn't plan to animate it, but I wanted to think like an animator, think in terms of pure images.

From college, 1995. I'm pretty sure I never intended to do this animated, but I like the concept, plotless as it admittedly is.

Here are the close-ups. In the last panel I signed myself "friendly neighborhood projectionist" because at the time I ran 16mm films, plus videos, for Prof. Kathleen Karlyn's film analysis class.

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