Hippopotamouse - authentic works of victorian surrealism
September 17, 2006 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Hippopotamouse - authentic works of victorian surrealism
posted by MetaMonkey (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
cool--it's like someone sent Photoshop back to 1890
posted by amberglow at 9:39 AM on September 17, 2006


cool--it's like someone sent Photoshop back to 1890

Well, the 'photoshop' part is right...
posted by delmoi at 9:43 AM on September 17, 2006


These are most entertaining.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:47 AM on September 17, 2006


Kind of looks like Mark Motherbaugh's stuff. Personally, none of it really does it for me.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:54 AM on September 17, 2006


Kind of looks like Mark Motherbaugh's stuff.

Whoa. I think you mean it really looks like Mothersbaugh's stuff. Man, I hope those two don't show up at the same party wearing the same evening gown.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:15 AM on September 17, 2006


This must be some strange new meaning of the word "authentic" with which I have not been previously acquainted.

Real Victorian surrealism? Well, if you squint at it, and push the accepted dates of "Victorian" back a few years, how about Matthew Coates Wyatt's Bashaw, or The Faithful Friend of Man Trampling Underfoot the Most Insidious Enemy?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:40 AM on September 17, 2006


don't see what's surreal about it.
posted by wumpus at 11:47 AM on September 17, 2006


Authentic Victorian?
"All work copyright ... 2003-2006"

Unless his maiden name was Victoria, I'm not sure I agree.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 12:05 PM on September 17, 2006


Well, one way to make it more authentic would be if you actually used 19th century clippings and made it by an authentic surrealist, such as say Max Ernst.

Then, you'd end up with something like this, which already exists.
posted by vacapinta at 12:42 PM on September 17, 2006


Gee, maybe the fact that he has that date pretty prominently on the site means that "Authentic Victorian" is, like, a joke? Huh fellas?
posted by kenko at 12:42 PM on September 17, 2006


Jokes are funny.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:58 PM on September 17, 2006


yeah.. this is some strange stuff
posted by tonygarcia at 12:59 PM on September 17, 2006


dang, i guess my totally stereotypical morbid view of the victorian period is spot on!
posted by dminor at 3:01 PM on September 17, 2006


Sucks. Hard. I was hoping for actual artifacts.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:15 PM on September 17, 2006


Yup, total rubbish. Unless it's actually a pisstake of the sort of eejit who thinks Surrealism boils down to 'whoah, dude, everything is all melty, and has extra eyes'.
posted by jack_mo at 3:43 PM on September 17, 2006


seem like the post set up the site a bit badly. perhaps you should add in 2003-2006 at the end, so people know it's a joke going in.

i, too, was excited at the prospect of historical stuff. i suppose Victorian Surrealism is an oxymoron, but i thought maybe someone had found something from back then that might be similar to some of the early american stuff.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:04 PM on September 17, 2006


Spoilt Victorian, child
posted by Flashman at 4:26 PM on September 17, 2006


Sorry to disappoint anyone who expected 'authentic victorian surrealism'. I presumed the double contradiction in the name would have given the game away, seeing as victorian refers to 19th century england, and surrealism originated in post-WW1 continental europe. A 2003-6 note would be fine by me, though I tend to prefer a touch of mystery.

The suggestion that it isn't surreal, however, I find a tad baffling.
posted by MetaMonkey at 4:31 PM on September 17, 2006


surrealism originated in post-WW1 continental europe.

As a defined school yes. Surreal imagery predates Breton and that lot though. Some of Odilon Redon's work, for instance, and arguably any symbolist or alegorical work that crosses the line into dreamlike or nightmarish.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:39 PM on September 17, 2006


As a defined school yes. Surreal imagery predates Breton and that lot though.

No arguement there; I merely thought that since authentic-surrealism-from-victorian-times is a logical impossibility, the sentance would be parsed as authentic-surrealism-in-a-victorian-style, but I guess I was wrong.
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:14 PM on September 17, 2006


I think this guy comes from Victoria. I don't know why he photoshops everything to look over a century old, though.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 6:18 AM on September 18, 2006


The suggestion that it isn't surreal, however, I find a tad baffling.

Well, it's surreal in the colloquial sense; in an art historical sense less so, perhaps. I mean, this bloke isn't exploring his unconscious to express visually elements of a (supposedly) revolutionary philosophy, he's Photoshopping stuff (badly) to look a bit trippy.
posted by jack_mo at 5:12 AM on September 19, 2006


I'm genuinely intrigued by your argument, jack_mo, so please allow me to probe further.

Did you look at a good number of the images, or just glance at a few? Having looked at all of them, I found the process, in retrospect, a totally dreamy, subconscious assault that spoke beyond verbal thought. This, for me, is the very epitome of surrealism.

How have you assessed that he isn't exploring his subconscious? Taken as a whole I found the images to paint an acute picture of this man's hind-thoughts, both dark and hysterical, which is in large part why I found the site impressive enough to post. Should surrealism not be melty, trippy, and on occasion have many eyes if that is indeed what lingers in the artist's subconscious? It seemed to work for Dali.

Oh, and many of the photoshoppings are of a high quality, not least in the subtle atmospheric touches he employs, which for me give the images a pervasive dreamy quality irrespective of the work done on the characters. Though I grant you not all are of the same standard, and some are distinctly more interesting and imaginative than others.

Here's a few high-quality jobs I find unquestionably surreal: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
posted by MetaMonkey at 6:00 AM on September 19, 2006


How have you assessed that he isn't exploring his subconscious?

Heh, that's the question! More than anything I was basing it on the fact that he was repeating well-known, hackneyed Surrealist motifs. Who know's though - his hind-thoughts (lovely phrase, which I'm so going to steal!) might just happen to be full of Surrealist motifs (which, of course, is something that can be levelled at the Surrealists too; I'm inclined to think that they developed a visual and symbolic language and mined that, rather than doing what they claimed to be doing. I mean, all those lips, tits, lions and fish: surely not every unconscious mind is full of the same stuff...)

Really I was just being finnicky, though - I sometimes get a deluge of angry pedantic emails when I write a review in which I use an art historical term in a casual, colloquial way, so I'm just a bit paranoid about this sort of thing, I suppose.

You're right about the ones you link to, though - they're much more subtle than the ten or so I flicked through initially.
posted by jack_mo at 9:27 AM on September 20, 2006


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