Exploring Alternate Realities: Consecrea Artists’ Renditions of the Surreal
“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous,” Anaïs Nin, a French-Cuban-American author in the 1950s, wrote in one of her diaries.
It was the roaring idea for the rapidly flourishing modern art genre at the time. While Nin was no visual artist, others shared the same principle — among them were Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, and Frida Kahlo. All had something else in common: they were pioneers of the Surrealist movement.
Surrealism is closely tied with the subconscious or any other form of bizarre, otherworldly realities. Many Surrealist artists say that their works are products of their dreams. There’s no strict distinction on what qualifies as Surrealist art (especially since the genre itself is closely tied with the Dadaist movement, which is defined by its “irrationality”).
Today, the gap for creative freedom became wider than it already was thanks to contemporary tools and the digital medium. Artists are merging concepts, ideas, and materials from different time periods and different worlds, and turning them into a different one of their own.
Here are some of our favorite contemporary alternate reality artworks from our current collection.
‘House of God’ by Shørsh
Shørsh — whose real name is Jorge Luis Miraldo — is an illustrator of surreal worlds, which are somewhat like altered memories. He’s a traveler as much as an artist, and places are his ultimate source of inspiration. “I keep my eyes wide open and fill all my senses with new and unknown colors, shapes, aromas, and sounds,” he told us. “Everything about [traveling] makes me feel more alive.”
‘House of God’, his Consecrea original, borrows elements from the supernatural. The souls enter a bright sky where the sun shines — where they will be bound to the gift of divinity forever. Shørsh described it as “a vibrant depiction of the entrance of paradise.”
Like his other works — such as the compelling life-and-death exploration piece ‘Sacrifice’ — it’s a whole new world. “You can tell that they feel familiar, somehow a part of reality, but there is also something about these landscapes that feels strange and new,” he said.
But surrealism isn’t the only concept Shørsh was channeling here. He’s also trying to express the spirituality he feels as an artist. “I think that there’s something supernatural about the process of making and giving birth to something new,” he remarked. “It elevates our soul to a divine condition and gives us the possibility to speak a universal language.”
‘Macadam’ by Cielmot
An enlightened being walks amidst a steel edifice: an individual has found their purpose amidst an urban world. Cielmot told us that this piece was inspired by a song and music video called ‘Bye Bye Macadam’ by Rone. The Spanish-based publication Metalocus describes this music video as “a mystical ritual space, between the dream and the hallucination” — something ‘Macadam’ has expressed just as vividly.
Cielmot has a penchant for exploring “mysterious, suspenseful, and uneasy” worlds, and ‘Macadam’ is no exception. It’s certainly a spiritual and mysterious piece, one riddled with a mythical anecdote: “The steel building with a weird pattern is an ancient structure used for rituals,” said Cielmot. “[The] subject is glowing because he’s a conscious being in a mythical space, maybe in the world of spirits.”
But that’s just his interpretation, and he wants viewers to have their own ideas about it. “I won't explain too much about the message,” he continued. “Too much explanation ruins the fun.”
Read more about Cielmot’s creative process here.
‘The Calling’ by Kevin Carden
A culmination of realism and surrealism, ‘The Calling’ by Kevin Carden borrows familiar elements from iconic art and combines them with his rich religious imagination. The result? A realistic image that depicts divine worlds — and divine ideas.
He’s done his magic on the image, but upon a closer look, you might realize that the two hands in the piece are the same hands from Michelangelo’s beloved fresco, ‘The Creation of Adam’ (1510). It’s a recurring adaptation in many artists’ works; Carden believes that it “shows the essence of Christianity — God reaching out to humanity.”
For ‘The Calling,’ he wanted to interpret this theme with the idea of light and darkness. “The contrast between the values is very powerful, especially in digital art, and it also creates an emotional response,” he said.
Although he likes to infuse the real world in his art (he’s a photographer after all), the insights he wants to express can’t simply be conveyed by realism. His creativity is based on the principle of “showing the supernatural qualities of God and His love” — and that’s only properly shown through surrealistic elements.
“These types of places don’t really exist in the real world, but that’s not the point. I want to express a thought or an idea with my photos, rather than to be 100% accurate with how the world actually appears,” Carden told us.
Check out our full range of spiritual alternate reality art here.