Jan Švankmajer

Jan Švankmajer (1934) is an award-winning animator and filmmaker born and based in Prague. Starting out as a puppeteer, he has been making surrealist stop-motion animations since the sixties. He often cleverly combines these animations with live-action sequences, creating funny and sometimes slightly disturbing films. Weird and wonderful indeed.

Švankmajer on surrealism in his work: “André Breton [French writer and founder of surrealism] would not say “Surrealistic painting”, he would say “Surrealism in painting”. In the same way, I speak of Surrealism in film. Surrealism is psychology, it is philosophy, it is a spiritual way, but it is not an aesthetic. Surrealism is not interested in actually creating any kind of aesthetic.

His work reminds me of the 16th-century Italian artist Guiseppe Arcimboldo.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo švankmajer animation

All work © Jan Švankmajer

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