Mihai Criste is a Romanian artist whose paintings are strongly rooted in the work of great surrealists such as Dali and Magritte. Just like his idols, Criste appropriates shapes of known objects to ‘function’ otherwise. A ship’s mast becomes a pen, hands of time turn into birds or a human brain neatly forms the crown of a tree.
According to André Breton — who wrote Le Manifeste du Surréalisme in 1924 — surrealism is “thought expressed in the absense of any control exerted by reason, and outside all moral and aesthetic considerations.” It thus makes sense that the movement is about non-conformity, about escaping a world that is polluted with taboos to explore what else is possible. When we see Criste’s skiers travelling up the mountain on notes, it seems almost natural that music could be a form of transport. His fantasies trigger the notion that such an imaginary world can in fact be useful in a fascinatingly obscure manner. We want to know more, aching for the seemingly nonsensical adventures of our subconscious to relieve us from an onerous reality.