Over the past decades, mass media has developed like never before. This fact combined together with the technological booming we have witnessed during the same period of time has created the fertile environment for the appearance of a new form of art – digital art – and has facilitated the development of this kind of art. In this digital era, surrealism and mass media have been mixed together, thus forming what American artist James Seehafer called “Massurrealism” back in 1992.
As the title suggests, “Three Essays About Massurrealism” is a compilation of three essays written by the above-mentioned artist, James Seehafer, Michael Morris, and Philip Kocsis. Each of the three authors presents massurrealism, trying to explain where it came from, what factors contributed to its growth, explaining how it impacts our day-to-day life, and much more.
As James Seehafer said in his essay, massurealism is driven by the mass media, but it is in fact a combination of multiple tools – on one hand, traditional ones (classic photography, acrylic, classic collage, etc.), and on the other hand, new innovative ones (everything that is digital: photography, media, software, techniques, etc.). In Michael Morris’ opinion, massurrealism deals with both the interior dimension of our existence (the feelings, the inner struggles, the emotions) and with the exterior reality. Furthermore, in order to better illustrate this opinion, M. Morris offered as example artists such as David Hockney, Jennifer Bartlett, and Ron Kitaj.
Philip Kocsis draws the reader’s attention to how massurrealism has influenced advertising and how this affects us as consumers of goods. P. Kocsis affirmed that advertisers have learned to shape and change our perception so that we may buy their products. This is what the author calls “perceived reality.” Trying to support his opinion by providing an example of how ads manipulate us, Philip Kocsis refers to the “Obsession” perfume, asking “[…] how much did you pay for a .25 fl oz. bottle of “Obsession” perfume?”
“Three Essays About Massurrealism” is a must-read book for any modern individual. The authors have exposed several thought-provoking pieces of information which are worth checking into. Find it on Amazon.