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When Reality Fades Away: Surrealism Invades 3D Art

May 3rd, 2013

When Reality Fades Away: Surrealism Invades 3D Art

Watches. Heat. Melting. Awry forms. Devastated settings. Torsos of the dreams. It coalesces. Then it detaches. Surreal visual art reminds us of something. Actually, it awakens the most latent parts of ourselves.

Surrealism is like a potion, made in the 1920s for the first time. But it still flourishes and inspires contemporary artists. Surrealism is being used as kind of therapeutics, enabling the artists to analyse the depth of human nature by mixing the most distinct feelings and experiences together.

"Surrealist manifesto" was written in 1924. There surrealism was defined as “philosophy, based on the belief in superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought”. Salvador Dali is considered to be the Duke of surrealism. People, who do not know about surrealism, definitely know about Dali. When he was formally expelled from the Surrealist group, the artist only replied “I myself am surrealism”. S. Dali’s early work “The Persistence of Memory”, a painting set in some kind of existential desert, depicts melting pocket watches and stands as one of the best surreal painting examples ever made.

Surrealism surprises and will never be played out. It invaded the whole art of 3D and reality just fades away. Surrealism stimulates to write one’s dreams down every morning, to free the mind and indulge into a process of automatic creativity. 3D artists impart their inner state of mind into each artwork. Some of them seek for the meditation and others share their dark sides of the moons.

Self-examination, alienation, loneliness, madness, sadness, euphoria, mania, suspicion of a gone dream and all the possible human feelings create a particular and peculiar atmosphere of every work of a 3D designer. Tree-dimensional art makes surrealism to thrive: while providing precise level of photorealism, it includes the most unreal objects, forms and design decisions. I am wondering, if Salvador Dali had such tools, how would his most prominent painting look like?

Grab your inspiration for the mind-blowing masterpiece, while exploring this gallery of surreal 3D artwork.

Caravan Dali by Aram Vardazaryan

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The designer dedicated his work to the guru of surrealism - Salvador Dali. This picture came as an inspiration. An elephant with stilts became an indicator of Dali art. Each of his elephants carries an obelisk on the back, so does in this picture. This idea diverts to the roots of surrealism: Sigmund Freud. Towers and spires of churches indicate the main ideas of best-known psychoanalyst S. Freud - male domination. And there is nothing else left to add.

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It is actually 100'000 px long 3D painting. It took 3 years for the author to finish this masterpiece. With this Nicolas Crombez tried to tell a story, unfolding over time without resorting to frame by frame animation. He enjoyed the idea that the viewer can decide, where they come and go in the visual, and it still weaves itself into a story. The artist was inspired by prehistoric cave paintings and Flemish tapestries. But the main source of his inspiration is the soil, mother Earth. He says that "Deu Ter Ror" universe was being built, while his personal preferences were changing. This piece of art allows Nicolas Crombez to depict reality and change it's meaning through sound, image and word.

The End of Mythology by Fran Camos

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I do not know what's about you, but I have been staring to this image for a while. It reminds me a lot and cleans my mind at the same time. This work of talented 3D artist Fran Camos depicts his interpretation of the myth how the old Neptune passed away. This composition was inspired by another well-know artwork of Jacques-Louis David "La Mort de Marat". This unusual synthesis provokes you to think. A sculpture commited a suicide. Happens. Cultural references absolutely drive me crazy.

Time by Gediminas Pranckevicius

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The yound 3D artist Gediminas Pranskevicius has a delicate sense of art and tries to impart it in his artwork. He definitely possesses a particular manner in 3D design. And no limits of imagination, indeed. "I locked myself alone at home, turned off the phone and worked almost three days without any sleep. Which clearly represents my mood during that creation." says Gediminas Pranckevicius.

Glasses by Petar Petrov

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"The image represents the moments in my childhood when I was helping to my parents with the work and when I was dreaming about flying." remembers Petar Petrov, while receiving an award for this 3D artwork.

Both of these 3D artists parcipated in NVArt Competition "Surreal" one year ago and shared 1st and 3rd prizes. They astonished the judges with stories behind the surreal images and goals, they managed to achieve, using the main tool of theirs - simplicity.

Embryo III by Steve Barrett

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Steve Barrett calls this rendering an experimental piece of his art. When talking about it, he says that: "My ideas usually start in my sketchbook on my morning BART train ride to San Francisco. I develop the ideas directly in 3D software and Photoshop. I equate the process to watercolor or mixed media painting. I enjoy playing around with various digital processes, because I learn something new every time." I am not sure, what place in the Universe could inspire me to model something like this. Really.

Mystery by Tomasz Strzalkowski

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Tomasz Strzalkowski is the 3D artist, who believes that people can fly. I guess that pretty well depicts his limits in what is real and what is not. Everything is possible. This piece of 3D art is a part of the series "Mystery Sculpture". All of them smell with grotesque and create timorous atmosphere. There is no doubt he is a master of this kind of surreal sculptures. Do you doubt it? Below you can find more examples of his artwork. All of them have something in common, but also are so different. I just could not resist sharing them.

Mysterious Sculpture

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Mysterious Sculpture 2

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Tree branches

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Old Ship

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Assembler by Kosmur

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I cannot help myself, but this picture is definitely mind-blowing. The author did not want to comment his rendering and answer to all the painful questions of ours. There is one interpretation I found. It explains a picture as an endless focus on tinkering oneself and defining human relation with other objects. There is something in humanity's nature: always try to improve yourself. And it is never enough. It is an everlasting process. An assembler tries to put himself together. Good luck, I guess.

00:10 AM by Cornelius Dämmrich

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"This is it. Clocks stand still. Life lost its rhythm ten minutes after midnight and you are the very last of us, overlooking this toxic playground, this aftermath of your masters. Avoid breathing, little boy." writes Cornelius Dämmrich.

There is a making of for surreal 3D environments by Conerlius Dämmrich.

Resurection 2 by Alex Kozhanov

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Firstly, it is called a landscape. Secondly, 3D artist Alex Kozhanov dedicated several of his works in honour to the great swiss surrealist H.R.Giger. Both of them are able to work, when they are inspired by the aliens. And this rendering "Resurection 2" is a reference to almost post-apocalyptic reality. All you have to do is to stay alive. And keep breathing.

Landscape L51

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Perspective of Past by Andrey Bobir

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This artist has a style that is extremely influenced by surrealism. All of his artwork remind these half-dreams during the full-moon. Andrey is the brave 3D designer, who has no fear in experimenting and mixing forms, textures and objects together. 3D humans he had modeled have piano keyboards or open windows instead of faces, they are lost in their mind, trying to answer eternal questions of human race. For sure it fascinates. The more you look, the deeper you plunge into. Be aware of thinking.

It depends to look

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Memory threads

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Create Past

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Megalomania by Jonathan Gales

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From dystopia to utopia. An utopian city had always been a dream, a myth of architecture, and a dozen of times it was tried to creat it in very distinct ways. Megalomania perceives the city in total construction. The built environment is explored as a labyrinth of architecture that is either unfinished, incomplete or broken. Megalomania is a response to the state of infrastructure and capital, evolving the appearance of progress into the sublime. The Fanciful Megalomania graphics are always surrounded by scaffolds, labyrinths and cranes.

If you are interested, there is an article covering a project of 'Megalomania'.

Flying Brain by Leo Patzelt

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Leo Patzelt as the author is remarkable for the surrealistic atmosphere, he is conveying with his renderings. But this is obvious. Mysterious tones, effective elements, residues of self-psycho-analysis and an ultimate guide how to escape yourself: these are the main conceptual features of his artwork. This German surrealist artist mainly gets inspired by Salvador Dali and Rembrandt. This influence could be noticed by observing the forms and topics of Leo Patzelt's artwork. 'Flying Brain' definitely refers to Rembrandt, because who on the Earth could paint like that with the brain in the appropriate place?

Level V by Adam Martinakis

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This 3D artist is out of his mind, for sure. His artwork consists mainly of surreal renderings of a human. Adam Martinakis tries to analyse a connection between two living beings, while reshaping them and representing in distinct environments. Moreover, lots of contemporary global issues are easily recognizable in his artwork: global warming, environment protection, alienation, capitalism, mental imprisonment of a free will. He does not offer any solution, but calls you to think about the possible ones.

Here you can find a rich gallery of Adam's Martinakis 3D artwork.

Fatal Thought by Ivan Datskov

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Ivan Datskov tried to create a chaos, using such tools as 3ds max, Photoshop and Vray. And he was pretty successful, by the way. He says this artwork is a kind of experiment, while he was trying to open broader horizons. And a horizon is totally unknown, accessible only by using ladder, that actually are a knell. The thought. It so everlasting and so short-term at the same time.

Black Night by Matteo Venturi

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This rendering is a result of an inspiration given to the author by Oliver Smolder's cinematography and sculptures, created by Sam Jinks. I have no doubts, that there is some touch of F.Kafka also. Just instead of a man, we have a naked woman here. She is not recognized, but naked. Attractive and provocative.

Stitched Panorama by Victor Enrich

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Victor Enrich plays with our mind, using the power of 3D tools. Now he applies those hard earned talents toward warping the perceptions of his viewers, creating buildings which often make little sense in the real world. His works attempt to give us a new and different view of “reality,” challenging us to question the current norms and look at the world with new eyes.

The Last of the Leaves by Meats Meier

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Meats Meier sometimes is called as the apostle of 3D art. Lots of people treat him as a cult person or 3D guru. Impressing. His rendering 'The Last of the Leaves' touch the painful topic of a nowadays soviety: nature protection, again. This is not exeptional case when Meats Meier chooses a topic related to the Earth and environment issues. There are lots of interviews with him. Each of a journalist feel a duty to ask: "So, man, what is your source of inspiration?" And he always replies the same: "Really, the thing that is pushing me the hardest now is the thought of being able to be a pioneer in a new art field. This field is just a baby right now.". So, I guess 3D is rapidly growing and will become a teenager soon.

There is an open interview with Meat Meier, get some inspiration for you!

Concrete 9 by Xueguo Yang

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He is the artist, who is in love with frightening and strange atmoshperes. Moreover, Xueguo Yang thinks that only details are the most important thing in 3D designto look for. His artwork possess lots of cultural and historical references. And he rebuilds it according to his own laws. This artwork embodies a wish to explain the actuality we are actually living in. This picture concentrates on social classes, interpersonal relations and dreams how to reach the higher spaces.

The insane universe of Yang Xueguo!

Eifel Tower: Growing By Myself by Oliver Defay

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This rendering was made as a cover for the Japanese magazine. It portrays a symbol of a capital growing by itself. 3D artist Oliver Defaye has chosen to represent Paris from the surreal point of view. And he did a right decision: a picture won the Best Overall Architectural Image Award by CGArchitect. In this picture Eifel Tower goes crazy. It turns into the roller-coaster and swirls all around the city. This is the way Paris is. Swirling and dizzy. Feels like after an extra large glass of wine.

Eclipse by Jie Ma

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Eclipse. It actually has nothing to do with Twilight. Young 3D artist Jie Ma could not find any other form to express himself than plunging straight into surrealism. It saves. It saves the artist from sharp forms and direct concepts. There is no need to have everything illuminated. A character of an image looks back to the endless piles of pages. Some of them are empty, others are full and were being corrected for billions of times. The author says that there is a long and painful story behind the image. There is definitely a girl behind it. And no Hollywood happy-ending. A unknown person in a picture just sits and tries to get over that. Then he suddenly realises that there is nothing on Earth that could not be replaced. Later he asks - right, yeah?

I hope that someone, who scrolled this gallery down, suddenly stopped for a half of a minute and stared at one of these pieces of 3D art. And I would be more than glad if someone of you, felt a need to grab a sketchbook and start drawing. Free yourself. Everything that you need is inside you.

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Tell us what you think!

raalston wrote
Great job. This was very informative.
countkat123 wrote
Simply amazing pieces. "Tree Branches" and "Old Ship" are probably my favorites, respectively very Gigerian and Beksinsky-esque. Wish I had found this sooner.