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motions and bulging perspective, one might notice a similarity in his urban characters to mythological forms like the goddess Kali, many-armed, carrying weapons and talismans. his characters seem to spring from mythological depths while demonstrating the baseness of urban life as it is in-process, challenging the viewer with their unrepenting flaws. Pop surrealism’s popular aspect springs from social concern that reveals its divergence from fine art. It is not necessarily bound to the white box of the museum or gallery space. In fact, like many land installation works that came in the 1970s, it utilizes the landscape as its surreal playspace. Unlike those installation works, however, this playspace is an urban playspace, and it is influenced by the social concerns springing from gentrification, economic stratification, and classism. Graffiti is the herald of pop-surrealism, and like it, the “mark” is conventional in pop-surrealism. The mark is a means to an end here, rather than an end to itself as it is in abstract surrealism or expressionism. The mark may come from industrial tools such as spray paint cans, stencils, and markers. It may be entirely digital. This lends pop-surrealism an illustrative quality while also breaking out of the concerns that are typical of fine art surrealism. Another artist worth analyzing is Daniel ray everett (right), based in LA. Unlike Mercado, Everett’s work is subdued, even subtle, but his work shares many of the same ar“This playspace is an urban playspace, and it is influenced by the social concerns springing from gentrification, economic stratification, and classism” chetypal themes and illustrative concerns that Mercado’s does. He is “inspired by myths, religion, and science from different cultures and time periods… mainly Egyptian, African, and Indian myths.” Whereas 20th century surrealism addressed psychological issues in a passive, painterly way, such as in automatic writing or in dream imagery, pop-surrealism draws these archetypes to the surface, cartooning them as it goes. Everett’s work shows common individuals

Pop Surrealism - Spring 2014  
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