It must have been fun to be a Surrealist. The movement, which arose in the 1920s and was given its raison d’etre by Andre Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto, embraced the subconscious in all its weirdness, allowing the mind to flow where it will and finding joy in random, strange juxtapositions and aesthetic combinations. Comte de Lautreamont once wrote that Surrealism is “as beautiful as the chance encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine on an operating table,” a fittingly off-the-wall metaphor for one of art history’s wackiest movements. Here, we’ve pulled together the 10 most surreal moments of Surrealism, a collection of bizarre gallery installations, weird paintings, and crazy parties that might inspire some new adventures in subconscious exploration.
Salvador Dali’s Surrealism Party
In 1941 during the run-up to the American involvement in World War II, Salvador Dali, who would become the world’s most famous Surrealist, held a fundraising party for displaced European artists in California’s Hotel del Monte. The event was dramatically entitled “Night in a Surrealist Forest.” News footage shows Dali’s wife in a unicorn costume, a tame baby tiger, and a fish course served in satin slippers. Partay.