Surrealist Tattoos – Origins, Trends and Inspiration

surrealism tattoo designs

You’ll be surprised how much surrealism has got into tattooing. Today many artists try to break the norm with strange, often illogical surrealist tattoos.

Art from the 20th and 21st century has always loved mixing styles. Here’s some background and some recent trends in tattooing.

What is Surrealism?

Surrealism is art and literature movement from the 2th century, which celebrates the unconscious mind, dreams and fantasy. Surrealists expressed the images of their imagination in anti-rational way. They believed the wide spread vision about reality is conflict between consciousness and dreams. Surrealists tried through art and creativity to open their minds to unaware thoughts and feelings, without using logic, out of standard thinking.

Surrealist tattoos, the current trends

Following the steps of the surrealism god fathers Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte, Max Ernst and Man Ray, modern tattooists are fascinated with illogical world of this movement. In the 20th century there were two major tendencies. Those are hyper-realistic arts and automatism. Today’s artists still stick to hyper-realism and translate it quite well with ink.

Surrealist Tattoos

Except for hyper-realistic tattoos you can see cubist designs. Those come with sharp crispy lines, distorted images and strange, raw colors. You can also find dotwork surrealist tattoos, which follow the so-called pointillism. That’s yet another movement using only dots of color.

Unreal worlds of ink

You might like tattoos reminiscent of Joan Miro’s fauvist work. That features rough drawing and unreal colors?

Many tattoo artists today use techniques from the years of surrealist photography. These are collages, multiple images mixed into one. One might be combining irrelevant imagery using optical illusions.

Surrealist Tattoos example

Surreal tattoo artists you should really get to know

As surreal tattoo art is so varying and yet distinguishable you will see many skilled artists who are working in many different styles. Check out the work of Samu Rico and Matt Jordan for some photographic tattoos. Mariusz Trubisz works in a’la Miro style. The famous Pietro Sedda is creating cubist surreal tattoos.

Finally don’t forget about Ilya Brezinski, a crazy dotwork artist with a lot of love for unreal tattoos.