Leonora Carrington might not be as well known as some other Surrealist artists, but her art has been quietly influential in popular culture and fashion.
In 1995, Madonna’s “Bedtime Story” music video gained fame as an homage to the work of several female Surrealists. Directed by Mark Romanek, a filmmaker of most recent fame for pop singer Taylor’s Swift’s “Shake It Off” video and rapper Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby” art film at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, it includes a scene in which the singer opens her robe to release a flock of birds, much like the central figure in Carrington’s The Giantess (ca. 1947).
The dialogue between Surrealist art and fashion has a precedent long before Madonna. Artist Salvador Dali collaborated with designer Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s, and Surrealism continues to inspire contemporary designers. (Visit this Elle slideshow for some recent examples!)
In 2013, W Magazine published a Surrealist-themed fashion editorial photographed at the historical estate Las Pozas in Mexico.
Here are a few photographs from the W feature that echo certain figures and motifs from Leonora Carrington’s art:
In addition to paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, Carrington created costume designs, stage designs, and playful, esoteric items such as decorative masks over her long career. Surely she would have enjoyed knowing that her work is still a source of ideas for creative artists of all kinds.
Learn more about Leonora Carrington’s life and career here:
View the entire W feature here:
Las Pozas is located near the city of Xilitla in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. It was once owned by Edward James, a major patron of Surrealist art. You can read more about it here: www.xilitla.org
For more analysis of Madonna’s “Bedtime Story” video, see here: