Perhaps inspired by the Communist Manifesto, in which people are the state and everything is shared, the Surrealist Manifesto spelled out what some would call nonsense. However, what its author, Andre Breton, knew, is that the subconscious of the human being is the root of all behaviour and thought and it deals in surrealism all the time. The new thought at the turn of the 20th Century in the world of psychoanalysis saw the unveiling of our mental process in luminescent detail. What was poetically known for centuries by mystics and contemplatives through self-discovery and dream was given new language and scientific inquiry. Metaphysics and spiritual alchemy suddenly became real as the curtain was drawn back by the contemporary explorers of consciousness.
The art-form that came from this one little book is now a global phenomenon with new works continually building on the initial idea. Not forgetting to mention Thrive Mind, which I released last year, there are plenty of books, paintings, films, and even video games that draw on elements of the surreal to varying degrees. A high-brow and academic view is always available with art and when galleries get involved, this is often what they do best. The Belgian BRAFA Art Fair is a modern culmination of galleries and artists who curate the regular exhibition and display talking points that resonate across Europe.
This year, to celebrate the 100th birthday of surrealism, the work of Andre Breton is being used as the cornerstone in a wide-ranging display and discussion of surrealist art. At the same time as Breton, the French language surrealist journal Correspondance emerged, co-written by Paul Nuage. Correspondance still carries the flame sparked by the poet Andre Breton into new realms of cultural acclaim. Starting with regular one sheet episodes, the magazine now has a popular website. From here, a network of artists and writers took to the waters and sailed their ships over the rocks to build new corners of the globe. This scene became more vivid and more surreal as the years flowed in. With the onset of war in Europe, it could have been dismantled and forgotten, like the gas lamps and cavalry stables, but luckily for us, the art world simply could not turn its back on this mentally stimulating and endearingly confusing genre. The 60s and 70s saw a massive resurgence of the surrealist movement as psychedelia and eastern philosophy entered the western sphere.
Held between Jan 28th until Feb 4th, the Belgian Expo houses the BRAFA Art Fair for the 69th time. A massive range of surrealist art is waiting to be seen and tasted with the mind. It’s not just BRAFA, either, as dozens of other contributors to the Expo are also taking on a surrealist theme. The spiritual home of the art form, Belgium is the best venue for this long-standing seated tradition. Visitors can even catch a glimpse of an original copy of the Surrealist Manifesto by Andre Breton, in which only a dozen or so still survive. Of course, if you want to read it, you’ll need to buy a new one.
Have you used the shop partners yet? They're in the menu and each purchase gives a tip to us.
This site partners with Google to provide ads that directly fund production and hosting. If you run an adblock, please whitelist this website. This site also contains affiliate links which reward the author for each purchase.