Graphic artist and designer David O. Miller, known for his work in role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, gave a seminar on Friday, October 25 on surrealist art at the Art League of Long Island's "Art After Dark" event.
David set up the room with a variety of his paintings, showing his work over the years. He kept to the spirit of Halloween by dressing in a vampire costume and having pumpkins, skulls and candles on display with the art. But the real treat was his explanation of the surrealist art movement of the 1920s and the audience participation of the event.
The surrealists, like Salvador Dali, grew weary of painting flower pots and the like. "They wanted art to represent something not found in reality," David explained. Dali's painting of melting watches is but one example.
David explained the concept of the "Exquisite Corpse." In this art style, one person would draw a head on a piece of paper, then fold the paper over so no one could see what he drew. The paper was folded into thirds. Another artist would draw something on the second third, then fold it over again. A third artist would draw the bottom third of the figure, and when all were done, the paper was unfolded to see what three artists came up with together. Each person would also write one to three words on their fold of the paper, and the combined words became the name of the piece.
There were three sessions of drawing exquisite corpses, with six people participating each time. Some truly surreal drawings manifested; some in ink, some in charcoal, some in crayon, some in markers or pencil. Attendees were delighted at the finished product. David's enthusiasm for the subject was contagious, and people were highly entertained.
David was one of several artists running a seminar at the "Art After Dark" event.