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The Eclectic Bookstore: Surrealists, Photography, & Travel     

Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo & Other Surrealists including a few modern photographers: Michiko Kon, Ana Mendieta, and Francesca Woodman: Links to Galleries, Bios, and articles plus a bibliography on them.

Links: Surrealist Exhibit, Surrealism/Transrealism, Transrealism definition

Transrealism Explanation

Some say surrealism. But for me surrealism didn't quite fit the feeling/thought/images that I saw in some art and I coined a word 'transrealism' to describe those works that portray the soul's quest. I like this word to describe my favorite artists Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. While not a favorite, Cindy Sherman would fit in this category for me. The work goes beyond borders, utilizing images, icons from more than one country/culture/religion. And it bespeaks of the quest--the personal quest, the shaman's quest, the soul's quest--and during the quest there is the acknowledging and then shedding of preconceived roles/forms whether parental, societal, global. On this quest, magic and reality are not dichotomies--they simply co-exist. They are not separate poles on a line, nor parallel but threads within the same tapestry. What and how much of each that a traveler see simply depends on their own vision and abilities which also metamorphasizes over time. Neither the works or the journeyer is static over time so meanings change with the journeyer--whether the journeyer is the artist, the viewer or whomever.

I know it sounds pretentious to create a word and then ascribe famous artists to that genre. I do so mainly because their works are available in books and it is easier to see what I mean. The surrealists wanted to unconsciously-consciously use the subsconscious and bring it to the surface. For me, transrealism is about portraying the metaconscious in life as life is. It is not the unconscious but something that encompasses unconscious, conscious, spiritual or psychic drives towards something greater.

The inner woven threads of history, ancestors, family, friends, society, religion, education across borders into a person's/culture's psyche leading through spirals of assimilation, rebellion and finally soaring free, going beyond, not by rejecting everything flatly and creating an opposing rebellious mirror image but by finding and keeping what is true, letting go of the rest and creating something new that when synthesized with the rest gives birth to something more. It is beyond psychology because it encompasses spirituality. Science and magic mesh. Independence links to connection. It includes the family while going beyond. It is especially hard to describe because it is something that is both all inclusive and yet transcends all its parts.

Personally I have not flown free but when I look at the work of Carrington and Varo, I feel they have broken boundaries and reached a place that I can only guess at. While the place is free, it is also home.

My transrealist pictures are about the first quest, the beginner's quest that every fool must embark on is the one for identity. These four pictures explore an American's quest for identity within a society composed of generations of immigrants and at the same time refuses to acknowledge the heritage of whole sectors of immigrants.

My explanations with the transrealism pictures are mundane, talking of Photoshop and the sequence of their making so you can read your own interpretations within each image without my leading you anymore than I have just done. Although with one picture, I did add a couple of interpretations by a few people. Anyways enjoy and tell me who else you think might be a transrealist.

May your road never end, until you come home to the light that shines within you and the darkness that liberates you.

The link to Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo are two great artists whose work I greatly admire. The link takes you to a collection of links on websites about them. Leonor Fini called Carrington an Independent. That maybe the true word that describes them.

If any links on this page don't work please e-mail me at lafren@sirius.com