Using surreal art to add WOW factor to your living space
6 tips for beginners and experienced surreal art collectors
The ultimate illustration of the unconscious mind. Where strange ideas go awry, disordering a universe once perfectly arranged. The nonsensical illusions of an imagination left unchecked. Whatever supersedes the Andromeda Galaxy’s laws and principles of matter, time and space is instead the figment of someone’s surreal imagination. In other words, surrealism starts where realism leaves off. It is the all-encompassing chaotic everything that reality is not and should never be.
Persistence of Memories painted by Salvador Dali
In the fine arts, Salvador Dali is regarded as one of the most well-known surreal artists to have ever walked the Earth. He painted the piece you see above, The Persistence of Memory, which tells a story about how useless our obsession with time and finity are in both awake and asleep states of consciousness.
Using surrealism, Dali criticizes a fundamental principle of our reality and makes us question what we know as real. This process is one of the reasons that surrealism has come to turn the World on its heels: It makes us question what we know and delicately puts pressure on truth until it collapses in on itself.
People seem to think that they have to have superior knowledge of art to own a piece that is entirely conceptual. The reality is, (no pun intended), surrealism is designed to pick your brain, tease out your emotion and fog your perspective lenses. The intention is not in providing the answers that you must be knowledgeable enough to get to, but prompting you to ask the questions you would not have otherwise thought of.
We have put together a list of prompts we like to consider when determining what type of surreal art we want to collect next. This list of prompts is a great way to help you choose the right surreal art piece for you when you don’t even know where to start, because we believe that even as a ‘beginner’, you can be confidently positioned to collect surreal pieces and hang them up on your walls.
After all, there are no hard, fast rules to owning, displaying and loving your art.
#1 – From Simple to Stunning
Surreal art deserves a spotlight. Great surreal art will naturally demand the attention of anyone who passes it by, but a room with a lot of activity can detract from the art’s organic impact. This is why we get so excited when we see open-concept rooms with muted colors and blank walls.
Whether you are a minimalist or not, modern day interior designs tend toward an approach that emphasizes how simplicity can make your living space feel more open, free and sophisticated.
However, your simple design does not have to mean free of character, personality or interest. Rather, you can facilitate simplicity to enhance the impact of your surreal art piece when done properly.
Adding a stunning art piece to your minimalist space revolutionizes the mood of the room and creates an engaging focal point. Check out the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of the room above by dragging the slider from left-to-right.
#2 – A Medium of Self Expression
Swipe left and right to see this room's before and after photos.
To elaborate on the aforementioned point, using surreal art as the focal point of a basic room adds an element of interest, intrigue and personality to your personal living space. Art, in general, is one of the best mediums for self-expression you could ever incorporate in your space. Surreal art, with its abstract visuals and ideas, will say something about you that other common household objects simply would not be able to.
When a guest comes to your home, think about the things they will point out in the room and ask you questions about. More often than not, a great surreal art piece with dynamism, conceptualism and drama will start conversations left and right.
In the photo above, we see the painting Evolution of a Dream by Suchiu hung in a beautiful frame above a burnt orange couch. This surreal art piece has a plethora of visual cues that will take your imagination on a journey to self-discovery.
Consider the ways that a surreal art piece can connect you to something bigger than yourself. How can you incorporate a surreal art piece in your living space to express your unique and awesome self to other people?
#3 – Continue the Narrative
Swipe the slider from left to right to see this room's before and after photos.
You do not have to start from scratch when trying to determine how art can convey the message that your living space will send. Take a look around an existing space that you already love in your home. You can build on the visual cues within by incorporating a stunning piece of surreal art that completes the narrative in an interesting way.
In the photo above, the living space of this homeowner insinuates softness in color, shape and texture. The potted plant, cloud-like couch and hickory floorboards suggest a connection to nature and the earth. Being in the room makes you feel peaceful, refreshed and in-tune with nature.
Because of its natural elements, we chose Where Sacred Paths Once Led by Suchiu as the surreal art focal point of this room. You can reinforce the message your room is already sending with a great piece of surreal art, and a great room will enhance the drama of your piece in exchange.
#4 – Add a Pop of Color to a Monochrome Room
Perhaps one of the most exciting ways to spice up your monochromatic living space is by adding that explosive touch of color. Leave feature walls behind and opt-in for a beautiful piece of surreal art instead.
Contrasting a monochromatic color scheme with an art piece that features vibrant colors, dramatic textures, interesting patterns or all of the above adds depth, dimension and an element of intrigue to your living space.
Because surrealism does not comply with the universal laws and principles of physics, many pieces will feature elements of obscure coloration, design and sense. Use these factors to your advantage when determining how to add life and flair to your monochromatic room, like we did in the photo above.
#5 – Scale Your Art for a BIG Impact
Does your room have a flow to it? Does the eye seamlessly move from object to object on a path guided by what you swear is an invisible hand? Will incorporating a surreal art piece serve to complete that flow, or will it be an interruption in the sequence that is awkward and unnatural?
While some say “location, location, location”, we go one step further to consider “scale, scale, scale!”. When implementing a surreal art piece in your existing living space, you will want to consider the size and impact of the objects already stationed in the room, as well as the height, width and openness of the room itself.
For example, a 12” x 12” surreal art piece above a couch with a high-peaked ceiling won’t make for much of an impact. A series of 12” x 12” surreal art pieces lining a blank, white hallway will!
Likewise, a massive 4’ x 4’ surreal original painting hung beside a body-length mirror or wide screen television will be fighting for the attention over its counterpart. Hang it on a massive blank wall instead, and you have yourself an amazing focal point.
There is a place for art of all shapes and sizes. Knowing how to scale your surreal art to an existing room, or scaling a room to an existing artwork, will make or break the impact of the art piece that you love.
#6 – Tie It All Together with a Frame
Many people ‘spook’ at the thought of adding a frame and mat to their art, believing that it will detract from the art’s organic impact. The truth is, this can be a legitimate concern if the frame is not properly engineered to perform the job that it is intended to: Enhancing your art.
Contrary to popular belief, hanging up an art piece on your wall without a frame can actually cheapen its look, make it appear incomplete and, of course, increases the risk of it getting damaged.
You have probably heard us say the term “great art does not have to match your couch!”. A frame, on the other hand, is a great way to achieve the symmetry between your art and your room that you seek. Selecting a frame that has features and accents complimentary to the art and similar to your space can enhance the piece while making your room look intentionally designed, connected and finished.
Notice how each art piece in this article has a frame around it? If you didn’t at first, that’s okay — it simply means the frame is doing its job properly by enhancing the artwork, rather than distracting from it.
You do not have to be an experienced collector to know how to integrate a surreal art piece in your living space. Most of the time, our minds’ eye will give us clues on what works versus what does not. Nonetheless, we hope this article seamlessly guides you through the selection process so you can be sure that your living space will love your art, and your art will love your living space.
Want some additional help?
As a lifelong artist with over 30 years of experience in the industry, Suchiu has the top-of-line knowledge for collecting art that beginners are asking for.
So, he created The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Art You will Cherish for a Lifetime to teach people everything there is to know, when you do not even know where to start.
Submit your email address below and a copy of this eBook will be sent to your inbox within minutes!