Surreal art - interior design inspiration
Posted by Faith McMath on 14th Oct 2022
If you’ve ever had a poke around the Mineheart online art store you’ll know that we LOVE surreal art. It’s also massively popular with our interior design customers, so for our latest blog we wanted to delve into the world of surreal art, and how it can be the inspiration for all kinds of interior design ideas.
What exactly is surreal art?
The surrealist art movement started in around 1920, led by writer Andre Breton, and made famous by artists including Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Max Ernst and Joan Miro.
The overriding concept of surrealism is to bring to life images from dreams and present everyday objects in unusual ways.
From Salvador Dali’s melting clock faces to Magritte’s False Mirror, surrealism captured the world’s imagination and has influenced every form of art and culture ever since. In case you needed proof…there’s even a Simpsons version of Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory.’
What makes surreal art so popular?
Surreal art is much more versatile than other, older forms of art. It looks great in all kinds of interior design themes - not least because there are so many different directions that surreal art can pursue.
Often, too, surreal art can create a strong feeling or atmosphere. Many surreal art designs are tongue-in-cheek and funny, while others can be much more dreamlike and thoughtful. Because of that, surreal art can be a wonderful inspiration for interior design ideas.
Surreal art to make you smile
Just as some of our dreams can be funny and crazy, a lot of surreal art can be light hearted and silly.
Many of the art prints in the Mineheart collection are designed to make you smile and see the lighter side of life. Our iconic Bubblegum and Pencil artworks were inspired by exactly that, taking serious Renaissance portraits and adding a surreal touch to change the whole mood of the painting.
One of Mineheart’s most loved specialisms is ‘Modernaissance’, which takes original 17th century portraiture and gives it a modern twist. Juxtaposing the old and the new is a form of surrealism which works in almost any theme or interior design.
Surreal art to create a sense of calm
Many surreal artworks take a dreamlike perspective. They can be ethereal, whimsical, mysterious and strange. The artist Himitsuhana has created many atmospheric and surreal images in the Mineheart collection that set a wonderful tone for any space.
Himitsuhana blends expert photography skills with digital techniques to augment reality and create visual fairytales.
Himitsuhana images can be the inspiration for your interior design ideas. Her artwork might suggest colour schemes or set the overall mood for the project you are designing.
These kinds of calm, dreamy, almost magical images work particularly well in bathrooms, bedrooms, wellness suites or dining areas.
Surreal wall art that’s strange and bizarre
One of the fascinating things about surrealism is that it can be so many things. It can be silly and amusing, dreamlike and gentle or more nightmarish and unnerving.
Art is so personal, and many of us love to have something on our walls that makes people stop and take notice. There are so many weird and wonderful surreal art pieces to choose from. They create alternative universes, mythical creatures and disturbing landscapes.
Stefano Bonazzi is a surrealist master who has created many such designs for our collection. One common element in all his work is that the subject’s face is hidden, and the central figure is placed in all kinds of unique and bizarre situations.
Other great examples of strangely beautiful images include the Maximillion collection which blends photographs and other 2D images with real objects such as jewels, feathers, mushrooms and beads. The source of a whole new category of interior design ideas…?
Surreal animal art
A hugely popular category of surreal wall art with Mineheart customers is art featuring members of the animal kingdom. There’s something so fascinating about the expressions of our furry and feathery friends that makes them perfect subjects.
There’s certainly an element of the surreal in putting animals in human clothing - yet it works so well. In our collection, the work of Angela Rossiis iconic, giving all manners of creature noble and regal outfits, including Princess Flaminia, Grandfather Olaf, Uncle Walter and Lord Montague. Think military ensembles with medals, a lot of gold brocade, velvet and jewellery.
But not all our animal art is quite so elevated in stature. Take a look at Bernard in his school uniform, Buckready for an interview and Jonathan in his retro striped top.
These surreal prints are perfect for an informal setting that will make visitors smile - reception areas, hallways, workspaces or anywhere a little non conformist.
Choosing surreal art for your interior
All too often we look for complementary art at the end of an interior design journey - chosen to match a certain colour palette or add a little visual interest to a plain area of wall.
But at Mineheart we like to turn the tables. Art can be the inspiration for a space, not the other way around. Increasingly, interior designers are including art as part of their mood boards, or even asking clients up front to explore different artistic styles and decide what resonates best.
That can be a fantastic way of understanding your client. It will help you explore their interior design ideas and their expectations more clearly - and uncover ways to really delight them with the finished interiors project.
Surrealist art is everywhere - and creates such a vast range of styles, emotions, atmosphere and creates a way of engaging more closely with the space around us.
For more on surreal wall art, interior design ideas and how to select the most perfect pieces, see these blogs:
Insider tips to nail surreal decor - The Artment