Ambiguity, cross-dressing and other gender issues in surrealism

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  • Publicado : 10 de marzo de 2011
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Surrealism began in Paris in 1924 with the publication of the "Surrealist Manifesto" by André Breton, who believed that the post-war historical situation demanded a new art that delve into the depths of human beings to understand the whole man.

When we see the whole man, that does not refer to men and women on equal terms.Allmer explained that at Angels of anarchy:

“ However, whilst surrealist thought radically challenged hierarchies, it often remained blind to its own gender politics, locked in an heterosexual sometimes homophobic, patriarcal stance positioning and constructing women (and never men) as artists muses, femme-enfants, virgins, dolls and erotic objects. “

The representation of women in Surrealismcorresponds to the idea they had for women and it is impossible to separate. Every image reflects a previous relationship, conscious or unconscious, or expresses an ideal, the product of reality and desire. The female image has been shaped by men as something which takes consistency and entity in terms of it. The female world is translated by the man regarded as an empty structure capable to takewhatever he wants to impose, in which nothing exists, or their existence is ignored as its own and exclusive.

On one hand, the surrealist artists we will discuss and established a relationship with male artists of the group are: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Leonora Carrington with Max Ernst and Lee Miller with Man Ray. I’ve chosen these women artists not only because they are associated to thesurrealist movement and have been also artists partners, but also because they were all creators who choose to work professionally in painting or photography, while offer a contribution on the iconography of femininity throughout the twentieth century.

Frida Kahlo (1917- 1954). Emblematic figure in the panorama of surrealism. Since its inception in painting expressed a duality in presenting acharacter that was reinvented by ornamenting herself or clothing, with the internal image that she was the mirror of their own experiences, especially their pain. The artist suffered a serious accident. A consequence of the that would suffer serious injury in the pelvis and leg. Her paintings and especially her portraits, make her biography, which is why it is almost impossible to separate his lifefrom his work, dedicated the latter to the issue of self-portrait. From the moment she married the muralist Diego Rivera, will appreciate a significant change in her work and her biography.

The artist, at the beginning of their relationship, she would ask advice to Diego Rivera's talent. The muralist was the one who sanctioned the work of the artist, encouraging her to continue her career butalways considerating her as his inspiration rather than as an artist autonomously.

Leonora Carington (1917-1996) was born in England and moved to London where she began her art studies. In 1937 she met the painter Max Ernst, initiating a relationship that would culminate in marriage. What the surrealist artist appreciates of the artist, is the component most naive and innocent, which leads himto share with her not as an equal relationship but a tandem master-pupil. At that moment the girl felt like a muse rather than an artist in his own right. The painter was recognized only at maturity, after it had separated from the painter.

Lee Miller (1907-1976) Photographer linked to the avant-garde and surrealist movement. She was also assistant and lover of the surrealist photographer ManRay, with whom she lived for three years. The artist would begin to exhibit their photographs and make their retrospective once emotionally distanced from the photographer. The artistic work of Lee Miller to a second plan would be Man Ray would bring an artistic touch to the relationship.

To develop a brief analysis of art and women have noted that many artists worked in isolation and were...
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