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Top 10 Surrealist Photographers You Should Know About

Surreal Photography is unique and far away from realistic portraits. It is photography deals with psychological, philosophical and artistic territories. Surreal Photography is described as unreal, unusual, illogical, dream-like, weird, surprising, anarchistic or hallucinatory. Surrealist photographers create vivid photos which tamper the boundary between reality and fantasy.

Surreal photography is an expression of creativity, using different symbols, objects, perspective and angles to capture the picture. It is a fantastic skill art form to depict the image of something which one cannot experience in everyday life. Surreal photography is not like other photography types; it requires more perception, details, and insight of different angles.

Surreal art

The concept of surreal art or surreal photography was first introduced by Andre Breton in 1924. After that many creative photographers showed their talent and skills in capturing unrealistic photographs. We have listed below the top 10 surrealist photographers, who have amazed the world with their photographs.

1 Lee Miller

Lee Miller was known to be the muse, lover and assistant of the famous surrealist photographer, Man Ray, and she was a talented photographer herself. Miller was 22 years old when she traveled from New York to Paris, where she met Man Ray. Lee Miller is the founder of a very different photography technique known as “Solarization,” a technique in which light and dark areas of a photograph are reversed. She worked with Vogue, during World War II and produced some of her best works. Her surreal work includes Chairs viewed from above trail ominous shadows, a floating head of a woman, and a broken typewriter recalling a smashed insect. She used fragmented human bodies to depict her own traumatic story. How she was abused by her father, who subsequently photographed her naked for years, and how a family friend raped her at the age of 7.

Lee Miller photo examples

2 Kyle Thompson

Kyle Thompson is a young surrealist photographer who Chicago. He uses surreal conceptual photography to depict different concepts and perspectives. He is known for capturing unusual locations like abandoned houses, vacant forests, lakes, and rivers in his photographs. His photographs are known as “Surrealist and Almost Dreamlike.” He is also known for self-portraiture and his artistic interpretation of the selfie. He is a self-taught surreal photographer.

Kyle Thompson photo examples

3 Dora Maar

Dora Maar is known to be one of the famous surreal photographers of her time. Her work was first exhibited in London’s 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition. She created some brilliant photomontages and disoriented images for some fashion magazines. Her famous work features unusual and unrealistic scenarios and superimpositions. One of her prominent work includes Pablo Picasso holding a bull’s skull in a bathing suit.

Dora Maar photo examples

4 Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun was the French artist and a founding member of the Surrealist Group, the “Contre-Attaque.” She along with her stepsister, Marcel Moore created some anti-Nazi flyers to oppose Hitler and distributed them among the people. She created many performative and proto-feminist photographs, most of which were self-portraits. In her portraits, she combined masculine and feminine attributes and introduced a different concept of the self.

Claude Cahun photo examples

5 Erik Johansson

Erik Johansson is a Swedish artist who creates amazing surreal images. He uses different photographs and materials and recombines them to create surreal images. His technique is to create a photograph that looks like a real one but also has some inconsistencies which add the effect of surrealism. He has created some of his surreal images by combing hundreds of different original photographs and also used raw materials in his work. He also uses image alteration software to manipulate the original image and creating a new illusionary image. His work has been defined as “meticulous fantasy” which means, “part photograph, part construction, and part drawing”.

Erik Johansson photo examples

6 Eileen Agar

 Eileen Agar is a British artist who is a member of the Surrealism movement; she had created surreal images through her paintings and photographs. Agar produced some of the most amazing surreal artworks. Her surreal works include the sculpture of the Angel of Mercy, the paintings of Quadriga, Angel of Anarchy, and L’horloge d’une femme.

Eileen Agar photo example

7 Arthur Tress

Arthur Tress is a British photographer specialized in staged surrealism. He is known for using the technique of human body exposition to portray the concept of surrealism. Tress has taken over 900 unusual and disoriented surreal photographs. His work is inspired by the culture and trend of different tribes, especially the role of Shaman in each tribe.

Arthur Tress photo examples

8 Max Sauco

Max Sauco is a Russian Surrealist photographer. He is famous for his erotic surrealist photography. Sauco uses the technique of photograph manipulation to create surreal images. He adopts surrealism in his paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

Max Sauco photo examples

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9 Chema Madoz

Chema Madoz is a Swedish surreal photographer known for his creative and unrealistic photography techniques, and also known for using black and white colors in his photographs. He studied Art history at the Complutense University of Madrid where he also studied photography and imaging.

Chema Madoz photo examples

10 Denise Bellon

Denise Bellon was a French photographer who was associated with the surrealist movement. She studied psychology from Sorbonne. She worked for papers and magazines, and she is known to photograph many surreal artists.

Denise Bellon photo examples

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