What appeals to me most about surrealism is a sense of connection and transcendence – or even just the possibilities of their taking place. I think we’re all looking to transcend in some way, to explore or become part of something outside ourselves. And yet mostly we go about our routines amid similar scenery so much that our days can seem to blur into one another.
I like to think of my art as an expansion or slowing down of time, taking a focused approach to those moments where ordinary elements from our regular experience become magnified and juxtaposed in ways that achieve transcendence on multiple levels – from the first sighting (“oh, hey, that’s cool”) to a deeper study (“woah… what is that???”) – so that my compositions not only bring dissociative elements together, but also offer deeper appreciation of elementary surroundings. And then all this coalesces in viewers’ minds in fashions unique to individual experience and interpretation. I’ve actually seen it take place in real time when I’ve shown my work, and it’s a great thrill to get completely unique reactions from others looking at my art, something I’ve put together on with my own hands, using pieces of my own ordinary scenery, magnified and blended with any number of disparate elements from all over the country. To me, that’s the ultimate and most rewarding transcendence, maybe even happening right now.
The above is a quick rundown of my thinking on and appreciation for surrealism that I wrote for surrealism.co, where I am a featured artist, among many other wonderful creators. The goal of the site, in its own words, is “to promote contemporary surrealism and surreal artists. Whether it’s Pop-surrealism, visionary art, psychedelic, or dark art, we love fantastic art.”
And just for fun, here’s a live version of “What I Like About You” live from 1980 that seems a bit surreal with the random crowd footage.
As stated at its website:
The CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival celebrates the medium of photography and its cultural influence by engaging the (North Carolina) Triangle community with exceptional photo-based works and artists. The month-long festival in October brings together exhibitions and programming while fostering dialogue between photographers and community members, all in hopes of inspiring artistic excellence, supporting professional development and promoting community engagement.
My works are on display in The Frontier building as part of the inaugural showing, “In an Instant: The 2016 Click! Pop up exhibition,” with Chris Ogden as a juror. In following the Frontier’s Twitter and Facebook, I’ve noticed my pieces in the background at other events in the building, most notably the Women In Tech Summit:
— Cassady Channita (@CassadyChannita) October 1, 2016
— Rupa Pereira (@rupapereira) October 1, 2016
The festival includes a full month of photography events, shows, talks, and a keynote lecture by photomontage legend Jerry Uelsmann, my greatest visual art influence, whom I was fortunate enough to meet afterward at the Through This Lens Gallery following his talk at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art:
As one who appreciates and makes surreal photographic art, it’s wonderful to see and be part of a festival with such breadth, especially considering the inclusion of non-traditional photographic techniques like those pioneered by Uelsmann, whose work I revere. It’s also very cool to see my art on display via the magic of social media!
Two unrelated moments make sense for a moment here. This is made from a photo of a faux stone figurine of a child sleeping, from Pier 1 Imports, in Greensboro, NC (taken with Hipstamatic John S. lens & Rock BW-11 film), along with a photo of a steel pole with peeling paint in the Church Street Parking Deck, in Winston-Salem, NC. I used Photoforge2 to combine the images via layers. The concept was inspired by my favorite photographer, Jerry Uelsmann.
From today’s afternoon walk around town. Shot via iPhone using Hipstamatic with Libatique 73 lens and Ina’s 1969 film. Full-size version over at Flickr.