Art 1 – Surreal Perspective – due 1/13


With your next project in mind, to create your own surreal, dreamlike world through perspective, look at the 5 following links and comment on what  image interests you at each link. Comment on one image at each of the 5 sites and  for each make observations about: a) the technical aspects of making a surreal scene (interior, building, etc.) and, b) the emotional effect. (Note, the modern architecture at the last site is not surreal but some of the buildings are so unusual, they inspire the imagination. Comment on the technical feats and the resultant emotional effect.)

Surreal Interiors

Surreal Architecture

Flying Houses

Victor Enrich architectural images

Modern Architecture

For your sketchbook, spend an hour planning your surreal perspective drawing with a variety sketches, ideas, plans, and thumbnails.  Visually brainstorm so you can start your project in class on Monday.

The final drawing needs to show a building, exterior or interior, in perspective with a surrealist component, to create an emotional, imaginative, fantastical, or ridiculous effect. If your building is in one point perspective, you need to have something in the drawing showing 2 point perspective (i.e. floating mailbox or chair.)

Some standards for a surrealist effect: change of scale, context, change of physical characteristics.

The drawing will be finished with full shading in black and white and color, for expressive effect.


22 responses »

  1. The photo on the bottom of the interiors page (the one with the golden apple) speaks to me. The golden apple is possibly a reference to the Greek myth, where a golden apple was supposedly for the most beautiful person. Symbolism is very important in dreams and abstractions such as these, so taking the meaning of the apple – as a symbol of entitlement and beauty for the owner – is important. There are other things in this that signify a beauty or, even wealthy feel. The stairs wrapping around the elevator, (you only really need one) indicates the superfluity of rich life. The interior is also loaded with golden figures and ceramic statues. This room belongs to someone of great wealth and beauty.

  2. First Link: I like the image of the goldfish floating around the bedroom. This gives me the feeling that I’m in a dream because the fish are suspended in mid air. Or the fish are swimming and the people are breathing water. The technical aspect it seems like they made it all one shade and color and then contrasted it with the fish and human skin. The building looks very monotone.

    Second Link: The ball being smushed by the two buildings interests me. It makes me feel like humans are small and powerless yet we think we are the most powerful beings on earth. The ball looks like it is being smushed but thats just how it looks. The red also contrasts the two similar buildings and divides them.

    Third Link: The image of the flying trailer home interests me. I like how the door is open on it and people are there. It gives me a feeling that i am welcome there. I also like how there is a shopping cart and lawn chair on top of the trailer. It looks like they have a lot o stuff and are resourceful.

    Fourth Link: I like the second image where the building is fake. It gives me a new perspective on life. Things may seem way better than they appear. Something can look wonderful but really just be a let down, just like the building. The building looks like a stage prop.

    Fifth Link: I like this because it is very simplistic and gives me a feeling that everything is clean and neat. The box structure makes it very plain yet modern with the wood choice.

  3. Link 1: I think the yellow and black polka-dot room is the most visually interesting, because I can barely see the outline of the objects and can only tell they are there by the angle of the dots and shadows. I also like the picture with the fish, because the use of very few colors in extreme contrast makes it look even more interesting.
    Link 2: I like the “Dubai Marina, building gone mad” because the curled streets and center waterway remind me of some sort of tropical ocean-side city, along with how the light is shadowed by the buildings. What makes it surreal is that the water looks like the equivalent of a “main street.” I also really like the images of the houses balancing on rocks, because they remind me of some sort of isolated, quaint vacation home. I would not consider living in one full-time because of the precarious rock ledge. These images represent how unrealistic balancing is a main component of surreal architecture.
    Link 3: My favorite floating house is the one that looks like a circus tent, because the image shows movement, as if it is drifting in the wind. It is also interesting how the smoke from the chimney sort of becomes the clouds in the sky.
    Link 4: In my opinion, the most visually interesting of these images is the picture of the three tall buildings that are hollow inside and facing away from each other, because the sharp angles and unrealistic balancing makes it surreal.
    Link 5: This image: is interesting because the glass adds cool tones and the bent wood paneling provides warm tones that match the distant sunset.

  4. 1st link: The room with the women’s legs sticking into the room is interesting to me, because the room itself is very clean cut, and normal, except for the green legs and the green chairs. The mood is that of a culture clash, where old 50’s colors, meats surrealist wonder.

    2nd link: The cloud on the second link immediately grabbed my attention, because it looks like the explosion of the twin towers. The rooms jut out and snake around seeming to connect the two buildings at the center, while the rest of the building is untouched. The mood seems to be that there is beauty in disaster, and that are lives on.

    3rd link: The trailer park home is interesting, for to me it represents the poor being forgotten. The 2 impoverished people in this painting look somber and wanting for someone to come in and rescue them, while they are thousands of miles from anyone else.

    4th link: The “building” where it was composed mainly of a facade and lots of scaffolding in the back was interesting. To look at it from the front, it would be gorgeous and look finished, but from a different angle it is unfinished and mechanical. It’s a mood of false beauty.

    5th link: The first image of a house with hard angles and interesting metal textures caught my eye. It uses geometry as a way to create the house, it looks very calculated. It has the mood of homey, but hard and cold at the same time.

  5. The first link: I liked the room filled with fish. This is surreal physically because some of the fish look like they’re floating, because the entire room in blue, and simply because the room is filled with fish. It felt calming, with the light blue coloration and I could just imagine the fish swimming in slow, lazy circles.
    The second link: I liked Lautenbag Architectuur (and they did spell architecture like that), a temple looking building carved into a mountain. I liked that even the little, scarily thin bottom was carved to look like and arch, and that there were tress down the side. It is surreal because it is a rock in the ocean that appears to morph into a building, and because the base is much smaller than the top. Looking at it just makes me feel adventurous, like it’s a building in a book I read and now I can have adventures there.
    The third link: I liked the circus tent. It is surreal because the circus tent is flying, because there is smoke billowing from the chimney, because the lock of a bottom, and because someone is standing on it. It makes me feel hopefully, because despite the fact it’s falling apart, it’s still holding for together now, and it’s still beautiful.
    The fourth link: I like the one where the rooms seem to be shooting further out and curving as it goes up. It’s surreal because instead of being flat like most buildings, the rooms curve and elongate at the top. It makes me feel happy, because I can just imagine staying in one if those rooms and I think that would be really fun.
    The fifth link: I like the second picture, the building that looks sort of like white hills over the rooms. It is cool of how the rooms have to be cut diagonally and hoe open it looks. It makes me feel free because it looks so open.

  6. 1. My favorite is the 8th one down, which is the room completely painted yellow, with black dots. It’s interesting because the dots make it hard to distinguish forms because everything looks the same, so it’s almost like an optical illusion. This creates a disorienting emotional effect for the viewer. It also doesn’t seem that hard to make; all you’d have to do is paint a bunch of objects in a room like that, and it would look similar.

    2. “Vertical Horizon” reminds me of an M.C Escher drawing in that the negative space creates an interesting shape. I’m pretty sure that these are just regular buildings photographed from a cool angle. They’re also kind of intimidating since they are so tall.

    3. The third one down with the burning house is striking because it contrasts a violent image (the house burning) with a peaceful one (the sky). This makes the burning house even scarier because it stands out so much.

    4. #3 is surreal because it looks so dangerous, and it looks like something that would happen in a dream. The artist probably photoshopped it or something to look like that, and it’s very confusing.

    5. I really like the Disney Concert Hall, because it is very angular and curvy at the same time. It’s not exactly “surreal,” but it’s pretty impressive architecture.

  7. 1. I really liked the second picture because it reminded me of nature taking over an old house or a house that was just recently abandoned or more of an interaction between nature and a man made structure.
    2. I really like the very first picture of the building or courtyard looking up, it reminds me of something futuristic or out some some sci-fi movie
    3. My favorite is the one of the house that the first floor is on fire, it seems like something out of a nightmare,it just makes me feel very uneasy, as if an ominous beast is approaching.
    4. Again my favorite is the first, it seems like something out of a futuristic, highly stylized science fiction movie. Very cool, it gives it this very epic and looming feeling.
    5. my favorite is the LA symphony hall, it is very cool looking and is unlike many other buildings and I like that because it has no obvious portals or anything like that.

  8. 1. the blue/green of the walls and red of the fish are very contrasting. The green in the walls makes it look kind of like a sunken ship, and the abstractness of the fish make me feel melancholy.
    2. I picked the one with the village underwater. I thought it was interesting because there was a lone fisher on the water, while there seemed to be more people in the village, you don’t see anyone else and it strikes a lonely looking scene.
    3. I like the first house, because it is dirty. I don’t really get any feelings from the flying houses.
    4. The building with the top few balconies reaching up in different directions is interesting. It makes me think that all the balconies are trying to be the highest to get the best view.
    5. I like the first house that comes up because it is tall and very glossy. It makes me think of other architectural art that I have seen.

  9. The first link: Something noticeable about the series of images in the first link was the proportionality of the different items there fore calling attention to their meaning or purpose. Also a technical detail would be the blending of the moods and the structure for example the tree chairs and tree room or the playful kids mountain range room.
    The second link: Something unusual about this link in this series of pictures specifically the 1550 stacked chairs together between buildings is that technically would be near impossible but still conjures up the meaning of building blocks and such and emotionally chairs are used as support but they are used here to support each other as in other chairs which i just found kind of interesting.
    The third link: The technical thing I found noticeable in these series of pictures was the randomness of the logic of the artist like if houses could really float in the air there would be an extension cord just hanging off of the house. Something that struck me as meaningful was the circus tent the balloons and juggling things were falling out of the sky as if the only thing not affected by gravity was the tent itself.
    The fourth link: One thing that was really cool was the building which was bigger on top and appeared to be closer then its lower half for some reason it just reminded me of a perspective drawing and it was really cool to see something like that portrayed in real life through architecture.
    The fifth link: The thing that was interesting about this link was how functional they looked compared to all the surrealist works but at the same time technically not particularity stable especially compared to traditional homes. Something about the works of architecture were the harsh defined lines used this just stroke me as very bold, outlines where the house stopped and other points were very distinct which called attention to the over all shape of the house or building.

  10. Link 1: Surreal Interiors
    The image of the room with different-sized chairs threw me off. It wasn’t blatantly weird; you had to look for a moment to realize that chair was giant in comparison with the other seats. Then again, perhaps that was the only normal-sized chair in a tiny room…

    Link 2: Surreal Architecture
    The birds-eye view of a red building with an Escher-esque staircase fascinated me. Again, it wasn’t obviously bizarre; it’s just a staircase. And yet,,, it isn’t compact or uniform or anything. Its distorted just enough to make you question whether it’s real. I think i’d like to do something like this for my project.

    Link 3: Flying Houses
    How did he make these again?! They’re fantastic. Each one has so much character. In each building, there is a life, going about their business and really just floating along through life. There is a story in each box..

    Link 4: Surreal World
    The French-fry building really got me. Is that real? Do people live in there? How? It doesn’t seem emotionally jarring, it just looks… WEIRD.

    Link 5: Modern Architecture
    I love modern architecture. It makes cities much less uniform and boring. It turns the block into an art project. A specific house, though, really caught my attention – not because it was overly dramatic and bizarre, but because of how simple it is. It really is just two boxes and a pool. It’s simplicity is so beautiful… I really would like to live there. (link:

  11. Surreal Interiors: The most engaging photo from this site is the room with what look like huge bowling pins and all the polka dots. Im assuming that just getting those shapes into the room (much less arranging them) was extremely difficult. The polkadots are what are truly surreal about this environment. Just looking at it a photo of the room sort of makes my head heart and my stomach turn. I think the point of the dots are that they are in your face and are meant to give you a physical sense of confusion.

    Surreal Architecture: On this link, the RedBall project caught my attention. There are two buildings at what would appear, from far away, to be a giant red bouncy ball between them. There are several surreal aspects of this piece: the ball is much larger than it should be and the ball doesn’t fall despite the fact that it is actually made of a material heavier than squishy plastic. I feel really playful when I look at this piece; I feel like it is daring me to try and get the ball out from between the buildings.

    Flying Houses: The floating house is surreal because (obviously) it is floating and there is one window way larger than all the other ones. It makes me feel like I’m watching Up–so in that sense it makes me feel happy–but at the same time it makes me uneasy because the big window makes me feel as if someone is watching me.

    Victor Enrich architectural images: For this site, I chose the image of the building where the two halves are peeling away from each other. It’s surreal because it isn’t obvious to the viewer how that sort of architecture could be possible, and it sort of inspires a sense of awe. It almost makes me wonder what else I think is impossible that is in fact possible…What I think of when I see the building is the corporate world. The two sides of the building are peeling away as if they are wilting from the pressure of artificial interaction–humanity separating from the capitalist nature of our modern business world. That’s probably not at all what the artist intended, but that’s what I think of.

    Modern Architecture: I chose the picture of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. I was there a couple of years ago, and remember distinctly that, while the architecture itself is surreal, the artwork chosen to go inside only adds to the surreal feeling you get from visiting. The main exhibit when I was there was a Richard Serra–known for his giant metal mazes–and the combination of his structure with the architecture and white walls made me feel like I was sort of floating. Surreal architecture pretty much always makes me feel a bit nauseous.

  12. Link 1) I liked the image of the red chairs and white hanging lights. What makes this image surreal is how the chairs appear so large in the room. The lights also appear very large, and it is hard to tell how high up they are hung from.
    Link 2) I thought the Victor Enrich building is very interesting. It gives the sense that the building is being pushed over and falling into itself by some invisible force. I think the wide middle helps to give this effect.
    Link 3) I liked the image of the circus tent flying away. I thought it was interesting because it shows what looks to be papers falling out of the bottom of the tent. I liked the colors used and the background of the sky. All of the things “attaching” it to something out of the picture is interesting.
    Link 4) I thought the image before the knock off hollywood side was very interesting. The way the buildings opened up reminded me of tubas or instruments similar to them. It also gives the appearance that the buildings are fraying at the ends, where they open up.
    Link 5) I like the left most picture on the third row. I thought this picture is interesting because it looks like the building is surfacing up out of the water. The way the building is built also makes it look skeleton like.

  13. Surreal Interiors: The Picture I liked form this page is the one of the dining room where trees are growing from the table and chairs. To me, at least, the effect is calming and relaxing and creates the effect of a natural setting, though it is indoors.
    Surreal Architectures: My darn computer blocks this website because of parental controls. Apparently it deems it to be not child appropriate, though if I get a chance to visit it, I will post my opinions in a followup comment.
    Flying Houses: I like the circus picture from this page with the flags and balloons drifting up from beneath it. While I do not particular care for circuses in general, I like the effect created by this picture with the flags and banners blowing in the wind while the wire that usually support the tent are drifting around freely in an effect that conveys mystery.
    Victor Enrich Architectural Images: On this page I like the last picture with the house that is kind of on it’s side. I conveys a sort of humour to me, because it seems to be in one of those quaint little nighborhoods where the residents like things to be prim and tidy, and certianly not on their side.
    Modern Architecture: From this I like the lower left one of this mosaic*cJAnurd401V5qlYPWXccnGz2YaiLcnuD3kHF4dD1OxEFjagT9xd3vuYITJ8QQj-1HcQSEzL4Ju%2Fsmartwater.jpg&w=716&h=675&ei=G33TUqrjAY_1oASYj4DYDA&zoom=1&ved=0CNwBEIQcMCs&iact=rc&dur=1309&page=4&start=42&ndsp=16
    Because It really emanates the fresh lotus effect. I particularly like how it is mirrored to reflect the gardens and sky creating a sense of awe.

  14. 1: I really liked the image of the people flying away over the mountains using their umbrellas. This reminds me how we can rise above the hardships in our lives by not letting the rain through and being positive.
    2: The red ball squeezed between two houses really surprised be at first. It looks likes its going to slip between the buildings and fall on the people below which is disconcerting.
    3:The flying house covered in protective padding was particularly interesting. It seems to me like an allegory for being closed off or separated from others and evokes the emotion of loneliness in me.
    4: The house on its roof is disorienting at first. The house contrasted with the regularity of its neighbors reminds me of perspective and things being backward or upside down.
    5:This picture of trees growing on a skyscraper is very out of place. It reminds me of balance and harmony.

  15. Link 1: In the second picture with the trees, the image of having the tree figures the modern, polished dining room contributes to the surreal effect. It’s not expected and out of place. The shape of the branches are kind of whimsical, and the way it seems to stretch into the horizon makes it seem kind of endless and expansive.
    Link 2: I really liked the image of the house bending onto it’s side. Although the building is made out of cement it is behaving like rubber, adding to the unrealistic appearance. It reminds of a fan being spread out, and makes me feel like I would not like to live in that building.
    Link 3: I thought the 4th one from the top was very interesting. the way it is attached to the telephone wires make it seem like it is being suspended from them, hanging in the air. it makes me feel light and floaty.
    Link 4: I liked the picture of the hotel on top of the rock stand. It’s sense of balance and the way it is the only shape for miles around adds to the effect. It made feel lonely and deserted
    Link 5: The 2nd image reminded me of a rollercoaster, and the sloping lines made it seem like a building that wouldn’t actually exist. You can see that is continues out of the picture and it makes me wonder how long the building would go on.

  16. 1.I like the giant legs pretty much, the ceiling and the floor made great coordination, and the giant leg stand between them is the point of the picture.

    2.The house built on the rock is cool, it likes a scene in a movie or dream. It’s like a old Europe epic house, the water, the sky and the mountain make people feel it this way.

    3.I like the “flying car”, it’s seems like two people traveling around the world by the flying car, the sky back ground main pointed the point “surreal”.

    4.The Franch Fries one is very interesting and special, the shape and the color make it feels really like franch fries. And there’s a small symbol as the point, M. This giant franch fries symbolized the McDonald’s.

    5.I like the building half in the water very well, it looks huge, and you can’t guess mow big is it under water. And also you can see it’s like a remain.

  17. surreal interiors: I like the picture ninth from the bottom with the tree branches through the table. The silhouettes of the branches give a grace and beauty to the otherwise modern and expensive-looking room. This picture is surreal because of the trees seemingly growing through the table and also because of the sense of depth. From the position of the camera and the tapering of the table, the room seems to extend for a very long time, ending suddenly with a door into the nature depicted with the branches. But in reality the “door” is a hanging painting or photo and you can see the white-colored walls and ceiling meeting not all that far away.

    surreal architecture: My favorite of these buildings, though it was hard to choose, was the one titled “black”. I like this piece because at first you just see the boring black walls and windows of an apartment building, but as you look more closely at the two bright patches in the picture you realize that they are the only open windows. Through these openings you see a sunny kitchen that soon seems much more real than the bleak dark exterior. But the part that makes this image surreal is that the open windows are not placed in the same pattern as the closed ones, they are, in fact, located seemingly randomly and at some points they even cover the other closed windows. The effect “black” had on me was to put me in mind of a fantasy movie with windows into other worlds or timeframes; mysterious, and magical.

    flying houses: I think the house that struck me as the most odd was the one second from the bottom that is blank on the side facing us except for a diamond, mattress-like pattern. I don’t know why but this house just looks weird… and then you see the stilettos of a person dangling their feet out of their window. And then you can’t help but smile.

    victor enrich: I like his orchid hotel pieces. The on the main page I just thought of as pretty and abstract and didn’t even realize it was supposed to depict french fries until I read the captions. I also like the image of the stairs climbing into the sky which happens to be at the same hotel.

    modern art: Nine down and forth from the left, this image shows four different buildings. I like the one on the bottom left corner that kind of looks like a golden artichoke. I like the effect the goldish metal and the mirrors give of being royal. This building is modern and stylish and all that but, unlike many of the other ones on this page, it is also beautiful. To me this image seems calm and serene.

  18. First link: I was interested by the dining room scene with the trees. It shows some chairs with trees growing up out of the legs/sides of the chair and a table with trees holding up the table. It’s kind of ironic because tables are usually made out of wood which comes from trees. The way it’s arranged is kind of ominous– I think because the trees are bare and there’s nothing on the table.

    Second link: I liked the red ball project architecture. It’s a picture of two fairly standard-looking buildings with this giant red ball wedged between them. It’s really playful and childlike almost. There’s an innocence about it. I can’t really explain why.

    Third link: My favorite “flying house” was the one on fire. The smoke coming out is really well captured and pretty. The broken ladder at the bottom of the house is ominous to say the least and there are so many kind of horrific implications of the lights being on in the rest of the house despite the fire because that means people must be in it and they can’t get out because the house is floating and the ladder is broken.

    Fourth link: There’s this one building that’s like the leaning tower of pisa on steroids. It’s leaning so far to the side and almost looks like an accordion. I can’t even comprehend building a building but then one with such an abstract shape is insane. (I’m going to feel really stupid if that’s actually photoshopped)

    Fifth link: One picture that particularly got my attention was this one of a building sinking into this body of water. The building is round and pretty fancy and almost looks like a planetarium or something. Even though it’s at an angle the water is really calm and pretty so there’s this serenity to the building which is disconcerting because it’s sinking and I should probably be scared.

  19. They way the color contrasts makes a uneasy feeling and makes it seem more surreal. And how the rooms use different sized furniture, or in the one cafe, ow everything was normal except the one statue of a waitress.

  20. a) the technical aspects of making a surreal scene (interior, building, etc.) and, b) the emotional effect.

    1) One thing I notice in a lot of these interiors is that they seem to have a certain depth to them that makes it seem as if a mirror were in the center of the room, making the room appear longer and more infinite than it already is. One striking example of this is the 8th image down, with the black spots on the yellow background. I see surrealism in the cheese-pattern, as well as in the many floating bowling-pin shaped objects that seem to be situated at random positions. The ceilings are also low, and many of the objects inside of the rooms very large, which creates a doll house/Alice in Wonderland feel. And I guess Alice in Wonderland had a degree of surrealism to it too…

    2) All of these pieces of architecture again have a degree of drama to their depth– especially the skyscrapers. My favorite is the apartment complex (the one with the McDonald’s in it), where the upper apartments begin to “grow” up and out, likening the complex to grass or noodles. Many of the individual “noodles” seem to spur from a single apartment/room, making each one seem like a drawer on a dresser (if drawers were flexible).

    3) A la “Up”, all of them. I like the “Zampano” circus tent, since it seems to fit more with the nature of eccentricity. Circuses like to broadcast the unique, magical phenomena they claim to wield. The house on fire is rather depressing, given that the ladder broke. I hope no one was in that house at the moment.

    4) I think the 3rd photo in the side, of the split skyscraper, is a nice design if you want to keep a building cool for a majority of the day. In terms of surreal, though, I like the funnel-shaped building. It looks very delicate and the inner part of the funnel makes you very curious as to what would happen if you went inside of it.

    5) This design ( again follows the theme of futurism, flatness, and dramatic depth. It also doesn’t look very stable. It’s like an aquarium, but instead of looking at a fish bowl, the fish are observing the humans trapped behind the glass.

  21. 1) my favorite room was the one with the chairs growing into trees. it showed a sort of backwardness that made an emotional connection to nature. i also just like the trees inside the room, its cool.
    2) i really like Pierre Cardin’s bubble house on the Cote d’Azur, photographed by Mai-Linh. it shows architecture that appears to be from the future. or some alien pod house thing. The emotional effect is a feeling of awe at how these were made and how cool it would be to live there.
    3) the one i liked the most was the burning building. It looks like it was cut off from the world, and left to burn.
    4) in this link the building that appears to be splitting in half is the coolest to me. its like defying gravity and our perception of what architecture should be like. emotionally it seems confusing to me and really interesting how such a feat was accomplished.
    5) this one : is my favorite. its cool how it makes the building look like a race track or carpet all bunched up. it would be interesting to play with buildings put into other shapes in the same way this one is.

  22. Link 1) I really like the tree scenery one. It gave a kind of soothing earthy mystical feel. It makes you want to sit there and feel the cool breeze coming through the trees.
    Link 2) My favorite is the organic house design. Again it gives a kind of earthy healthy feel. It is a nice contrast to the real world which is harsh and smoggy.
    Link 3) I like the flying circus house. While they do remind me of clowns, which I hate, they also remind me of pretty trapeze artists. This shows how something not very exciting can have a wonderful hidden mystery inside.
    Link 4) I can’t choose between the buildings roofs opening up giving a sense of space. Or the one where the apartments indent in with every level. I like the latter because it’s like an upside down staircase.
    Link 5) My favorite is It’s an undersea castle hideout. It reminds me of the water fun in the Little Mermaid and the high tech of the Iron Man movies.

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