We break down the development and editing that goes into creating surreal works of art. Sirio Berati, a visual artist in Montreal, explains how he tackles such compelling image creations.
Surrealism is an avant-garde movement in art where the artist uses irrational and imaginative elements to express meaning and emotion. It often takes the form of either abstract or figurative.
Surreal art became popular in the 20th century, with one influential painter, Salvador Dali, bringing this movement into the limelight.
The most fundamental components of surreal photography are juxtaposition, chaos, fantasy and the unconscious mind.
The Good and Evil (A picture inspired by Nietzsche)
For this particular piece, I wanted to dive into the dichotomy of good and evil. It has deep roots in religion, philosophy, ethics and psychology. What is the difference between these two concepts? And do they exist separately or depend on one another?
The German philosopher, Nietzsche, explored this theory in his work, titled “Beyond Good and Evil”. He reasoned that modern society and its morals had ceased to have an influence on humanity in positive regard. Essentially, good always has traits on evil on it, whilst evil always has good embodied in it. And that we should look beyond them.
Understanding the image
As you can recognise, the edited picture has cooler tones than the original one, furnishing it with a more exciting and energetic feeling, linking it with fear.
In order to achieve this nostalgic emotion, I picked shades that contrasted each other, such as light red and blue, to give it a more cinematic look. Further, I corrected the skin and its imperfections to make it look smooth. Blue represents sky and heaven, while red, fire and hell.
Sticking with the characteristics of surrealism, I juxtaposed some irrational features to the picture. The butterfly on the shoulder of the “Evil” symbolises the good within. The vivid red, on the cross, reflects on the face of “Good”, signalling evil within. This brought out the MAGIC.
Next, I affixed some red flames on the left to make it more relatable to how the underworld would look. Whilst for the “Good”, I sparkled butterflies around the subject. Both signify the difference in each state.
The “Evil” is often associated with flames, therefore I added some fire ashes. This gave it a realistic depth of field and lighting, Lastly, I applied global and local dodge and burn.
Find more of his work here: