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The Impact of Surrealism on Fashion Advertising

Of these, surrealism related most directly to the subconscious fantasies of the consumer. One of the primary purposes of surrealist art was to tap into the subconscious mind of the viewer. In this way, it can be seen that surrealism fit in well with the shift in ads from a "factory viewpoint" to "the mental processes of the consumer" (Marchand, 1985, p. 11).

In defining surrealism, most people agree that it emphasizes the world of fantasy as opposed to the real world. In its effort to reflect the urges of the subconscious mind, surrealism often uses dream imagery. In some cases, it goes a step further and uses the imagery of nightmares. An example of dream-like fantasy in surrealist art can be seen in The Persistence of Memory, a painting created by Salvador Dali in 1931. This painting shows a dream landscape filled with melting watches. One watch is draped over a strange dead creature, and another is being attacked by ants. It is apparent that these strange images relate to the overall theme of the painting. Thus, the melting watches and other images serve as symbols for a situation in which "time is abolished" (Alexandrian, 1985, p. 103). It is obvious that the bizarre images and they way they are juxtaposed with one another are meant to reflect the subconscious world of dreams.

There are various reasons why surrealism became so important to fashion adve


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