When Surrealism began
as a literary movement in the early 1920s, its premise was
subconscious thought and mental images uncontrolled by reason. The
movement set out to combine the contradictory states of dream and
waking life, and to link "reality" to the imaginary. The movement
soon included the visual arts by encompassing the work of Max Ernst
and Salvador Dali.
It is not often today
that one sees an artist who displays the aesthetic of surrealism
and possesses the caliber of skill to rival past surrealists, but
Jody Harmon is one such artist. Harmon lets his paintings evolve,
allowing the creative process to take over. For instance, with
"The Royal Facade"
he began with only the female figures but it soon developed into a
statement on royalty and inner family rivalry. In this painting one
sees in the bottom right hand corner a child, whom Harmon describes
as "the next heir to the crumbling castle in the background".
Harmon's mental wandering plays out in the scene. A ghostly
protector floats above a jester and four other figures. The idea of
mortality is represented in the signs of decay on all five figures.
In most of his
paintings, Harmon spreads his subject matter across a bleak, muted
landscape. "This type of background sets a lonely, desolate tone,
creating a powerful mood". Harmon describes
of the Sea"
as an "ecological piece". In it a female form with a coral reef
head and seaweed cape crawls out of the sea as flying fish circle
her head. She represents a spokeswoman from the sea, despondent and
For his future work,
Harmon plans to expand on the style and effect he achieved in
"Decor for a
where his colors are more starkly monochromatic and the main
elements are unsettlingly windblown.