For people outside of the literary community, surrealist poetry can be a bit too abstract to swallow. With images that seem disjointed and nonsensical to those who aren’t invested in creating and consuming the art form, the entire process of taking in this imagery can come off as cumbersome and confusing.
One could argue, however, that pairing the written imagery in these complex poems with visual guides could make things much easier to digest. That’s where the work of fine art photographer Michal Zahornacky comes in.
In a new series called Poems, Zahornacky enlists the help of Slovak poets in a stunningly successful effort to bring surreal, abstract images to life.
Since delving into photography, Zahornacky has had a keen interest in translating stories into photographs that allow viewers to approach these tales in a more visual way.
His goal is simply to mesh one art form with another to create something wholly new.
“Each photograph,” he writes, “has its own little story shown through a metaphor.” By bringing the metaphors in these surreal poems to life, the audience is provided with the opportunity to consume art on a different plane.
According to the artist, the finished product will be “a big book of metaphors.” When the project is complete, each image will be presented next to the poem that inspired it, and each piece will supplement the other in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
(via My Modern Met)
It’s pretty amazing to witness a group of artists turn complex literary devices that are inaccessible to so many into something that most of us can understand. It’s easy to let surrealist language go in one ear and out the other, but when you’re confronted with visual interpretations of that language, having a visceral response suddenly becomes reflexive.