I call my current style of painting ‘surrationalism’. It’s a descendant from and development of conventional surrealism. But, unlike conventional surrealism, which was an attempt to depict dreams and express the subconscious and the irrational, surrationalism is a conscious and purposeful use of surreal imagery to portray commonplace human dilemmas – poverty, homelessness, loneliness and addiction – and to criticise the political establishment.

I have always considered the attachment of surrealism to dreams and the subconscious to be a fundamental weakness, which often led to the portrayal of what I call ‘puzzles without an answer’, although, perhaps, the ‘answer’ is meant to be unique to each viewer!

Furthermore, because they depict historical events, I believe Guernica, The Weeping Woman and other works by Picasso are actually surrationalist by inspiration. Similarly, Autumnal Cannabilism, Soft Construction with Boiled Beans and Sleep by Salvador Dali are also surrationalist in nature.

Like the celebrated surrealists Tanguy, Miro, de Chirico and Dali himself, I create sharply defined edges and contours – often with their shadows – for each element in my paintings, which reinforces their reality. My paintings The Widower, The Debtor and The Cleansing of the Poor – their concise titles emphasise their relevance to modern society – exemplify my unique, surrationalist philosophy.

Michael Alan-Kidd

January 2024