May 31, 2023

The Magical Art of Remedios Varo

Published May 19, 2023, 5:20 a.m. by Courtney

There's something magical about documentary art. It has the ability to transport us to another time and place, to make us feel the emotions of the people in the film, and to give us a new perspective on the world.

Blind Dweller's "The Magical Art of Remedios Varo" is a perfect example of this. The film tells the story of the Mexican artist Remedios Varo, who was a pioneer of the Surrealist movement. Varo was a self-taught artist who developed her own unique style, which was influenced by her interest in the occult and her belief in the power of dreams.

The film explores Varo's life and work, and includes interviews with her friends, colleagues, and family. They share their memories of her, and we get a glimpse into her creative process. We also see some of her most famous paintings, which are truly works of art.

The Magical Art of Remedios Varo is a fascinating documentary that will leave you inspired. It's a must-see for anyone interested in art, history, or the human experience.

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throughout history the art movement

known as surrealism has always offered

the individual an alternative avenue

that challenges the rational influence

on The Human Experience how we perceive

our emotions perceptions memories likes

and dislikes and so on can instantly be

Twisted by something unexpected or

uncanny this in turn has allowed artists

out there an opportunity to heighten not

only their creative skills but also the

meaning behind their work the analytical

approach to what they want to convey and

to even connect more interactively with

their viewers artists who specialize in

surrealism are nearly always masterful

Riddlers meticulously planting secrets

and sort of Easter eggs deep within

their works for the viewer to discover

and study to ultimately come to their

own conclusions one such artists are

undoubtedly provides this in her

extraordinary work was spanish-born

Mexican surrealist remedios valo a truly

a one-of-a-kind individual who struggled

to fit in anywhere throughout most of

her life challenged with poverty

surrounded by violent political conflict

and raised in a deeply strict and

religious family varro faced many Grim

challenges but in the end she would

transform these experiences into magical

Dreamscapes within a collection of over

500 paintings she had created up until

the time of her sudden death in 1963 her

Mystic Arts ranges from paradoxical to

hauntingly ominous and have landed her a

reputation of one of Mexico's most

beloved artists ever since a huge thank

you to use a grape for suggesting

today's video topic I'm loving the

suggestions from you guys so far so

please keep them coming in the comments

below also a quick warning to everyone

to say that my Spanish pronunciations

are infamously awful I try to research

and practice the correct pronunciations

as much as I can but if I still slip up

I really do apologize in advance

with that said welcome to another video

everyone today we'll be exploring the

magical surrealism of remedios valo



was born on December 16 1908 in the

village of anglosola in Girona Spain

she was the second of five children and

grew up in a family about value to

conservative culture and staunch

Catholic Traditions her father Rodrigo

was an engineer and her mother ignacia

was a Pianist

despite her parents wishes for her to

pursue a career in science or music

varro like many other artists was drawn

to the world of Arts from a young age

inspired by many of the greats including

Hieronymus Bosch and Francisco de Goya

at times you can see the influence of

their work beautifully leaked into her

paintings at the age of 18 Vara moved to

Madrid to study at the Academia di San

Fernando there she studied under the

tutelage of some of Spain's most

prominent artists including Daniel

Vasquez Diaz and Jose cabarero she soon

became involved with a group of artists

who were part of a Spanish avant-garde

movement including Salvador Dali and

federolica Garcia Luca in 1935 Vara

moved to Paris where she became heavily

influenced by the surrealist movement

she met several prominent surrealists

including Andre Breton Max Ernst and

Leonora Carrington it was during his

time that varro began to develop her

unique style characterized by her

intricate streamlike imagery and use of

symbolism Pharaoh's early Works were

primarily influenced by her interest in

alchemy and the Occult many of her

paintings depicted jarring mystical

Landscapes filled with strange creatures

and Arcane symbols is also important to

know that varro was consistently very

critical of her strict Catholic

upbringing which played a heavy hand in

the inspiration behind her imagery and


during World War II varro fled Europe

and moved to Mexico with her second

husband Wolfgang Parlin

in Mexico Vera found a new home and

community of artists she continued to

create a surrealist artworks and began

to exhibit her works at various

Galleries and museums

Pharaoh continued to work until her

sudden death in 1963. sadly due to a

heavy smoking habit she died of a heart

attack at the age of 55. Andre Breton

poetically commented that the death made

her quotes for sorceress who left too


many years later in 2008 the Reina

Sophia Museum in Madrid organized a

major retrospective for various Works

titled remedius varro the exhibition

the exhibition showcased over 200 of

ARA's paintings drawings and collages

and celebrated her contributions to the

surrealist movements


although the biggest bulk of Arrow's

work would emerge from a period of

finding solace in Mexico but certainly

not to say that she was not already

creating stunningly profound paintings

beforehand so many of her paintings

newest and oldest have fascinating

stories to tell and secrets to reveal as

per usual I like to remind viewers of my

videos that are is completely One's Own

Adventure to experience and is entirely

open to subjectivity as it should be but

there's still intriguing theories and

even Clues provided by varro herself

that are worth discussing

Pharaoh even once said quote I do not

wish to talk about myself because I hold

very deeply the belief that what is

important is the work not the person

So based on that although I can't

completely keep my promise on this I'm

going to try my best not to dwell too

much on Barrow's life from here onwards

and instead try to see what can be

explained about her in her art I always

love hearing your takes on art as well

by the way so if you have a differing

Theory to mine please let me and the

others know in the comments below

first of all let's take a close look at

one of her earliest paintings titled The

Souls of a mountain completed in 1938

he'll represented with earthy colors

dark tones and an almost apocalyptic

setting of a mountainous landscape

though upon closer inspection these

appear to be tall slender-shaped

volcanoes protruding out of a cloud of

mist two of these volcanoes show a

female figure poking through the vents

another in a far-off distance blows out

a translucent streak of smoke that

weaves across the landscape and into the

other craters one near the center has a

mysterious sight of a thin ghostly rag

that's pinned down and caught in the


to attempt to further understand what

we're seeing it may be of significance

to an over time period that Barrow

painted the sin as well as her

surroundings at the time

this painting was made in Paris during

varu's first years of stay in the city

in a world that was totally new to her

and due to the fact that it was on the

brink of a second world war Paris was

also on the verge of being occupied by

the Nazis this has led many experts to

believe that the imagery represents a

feeling of Oppression that they were

experienced in her adopted country

during this period it offers a glimpse

of the interwar French bourgeoisie views

of a woman and more specifically of a

woman as an artist

much like the dormant volcanoes the

female figures presented appear to be in

a state of slumber the dark colors

suggest a sense of melancholy or

possibly threats that no doubt must have

been felt over time evoking Varys inner

feelings of isolation fear of the

incoming war and showing a struggle of

being a woman in those days

or on the other hand the paintings cool

dark color scheme could be seen as

varro's desire for Solitude or Sanctuary

from a world she found herself in

expressing this feeling through the

stone cocoons that Shield these female

protagonists from the harsh foreboding

environments surrounding them it's been

suggested that the shape of these

mountains or volcanoes may even be

phallic symbols I'm not sure what to

think about myself but it does certainly

add an interesting layer to the idea

that this painting gravitates towards

the feelings of a male-dominated

environment even outside of the issue of

living in a nazi-occupied city male

artists at the time were significantly

more dominant and at times even more

favored within the art world compared to

women which would often leave varro out

of work and struggling financially

the most predominant female figure has

been seen by historians as sharing a

likeliness to Vara herself dormant

vulnerable but at the same time she

appears calm and almost Serene as if

quietly confident and patiently waiting

for the right time to emerge


next we have the allegory of winter

completed after the war in 1948. it's

another dark mysterious atmosphere

enhanced by a forest of spiny

cactus-like trees that have encased

various animals in ice prisons that link

together almost like spider webs

the provides an interesting

analysis on this piece as follows

in varro's allegory winter appears

threatening and Frozen holding captive

the promise of New Growth amid a parched

high desert landscape

skeletal remains of cacti-esque organic

matter dominate the composition and

thorny stalks and mass of snowflakes and

a muted gray sky reinforce a sense of


white web-like marks suggest a network

of cocoons or pods containing living

plants birds and insects

end quote

with this in mind it is theorized that

varro uses surrealist techniques which

explore the analysis of connections

between the subconscious and the real

her work during her time in Mexico

allowed her to discover a new dimension

of surrealism in the interpretation of

reality divided into different versions

in a blend of fiction dream and

premonition as explained by the Reina

Sophia Museum in Madrid Farah's interest

in the occult sciences and Alchemy

intensified during this period while at

the same time she was studying

scientific advances in a wide variety of

disciplines mathematics astronomy botany

and biology her knowledge filtered into

her artistic work which features

numerous symbolic Journeys through the


allegory of winter also reflects a

constant inner artistic production

the representation of living beings and

nature also alluding to the passing of

time for varro its progress imposes a

sort of order Rhythm and Harmony on the




music completed in 1955 as painting too

always struck me as haunting and kind of

unsettling when I first saw it but the

longer you spend time with it and the

more you look into other interpretations

a very different sensation can be found

within this work but first let's talk

about the musical imagery this is

something that appears in many of

Pharaoh's works all used in different

contexts the strings seem to be made of

beams of light piercing through the dark

clouds above and onto the ground of this

murky shadowy Forest

the figure playing as instruments of

light appears peaceful and clothes in a

blanket of foliage with an almost Mother

Nature kind of aura about them on the

ground and in the full glow of this

heavenly looking light plants spring

upwards and look noticeably more Vivid

than the surroundings however the faint

sight of two blue birds watch from above

as if they too have just entered from a

more beautiful far-off realm this

imagery is believed by some to be

expressing a moment of hope within the


when this work was completed it was

around this time that her recognition

and reputation as a professional artist

was beginning to fully establish itself

as explained once again by the quote no longer restricted

by a necessity to make money in parallel

to the birds Pharaoh now enjoys Newfound


the reality of having unlimited time to

explore her ideas Bears witness to the

more multi-layered painting techniques

and complex compositions as well as

Harmony in her own spirit and mind

resembling the artist the lone figure

Works fully in tune with the surrounding

natural environments she delicately

orchestrates a union between light and

sound that brings forth an experience of

growth and enlightenment

End quotes


keeping close to the theme of solo music

this painting is called creation of the

birds completed in 1957. Vista picks a

mythical scene of a half owl half-human

goddess-like figure with a peaceful and

compassionate expression on her face

blissfully crafting birds that fly off

into the night I should also admit that

I'm only assuming this is a female

creature by the way as a precise gender

is left ambiguous and varies from

whatever Source you may read

the bird deity appears to be holding a

triangle-shaped magnifying glass as if

to direct streams of divine Starlight or

Moonlight in the far-off distance onto

the birds that she creates serving as an

animating force that gives the birds


the creator also has a small stringed

instrument around her neck a familiar

sight as we've already seen in other

varrow paintings

what is clear for most experts is that

this painting symbolize creationism on a

deeply personal level the birds are

considered to be a symbol of freedom in

many paintings throughout history but in

this case they represent the artist's

own creative Spirit which is now flying

free after all she are truly possibly

for the first time in her life truly

found herself a home within Mexico when

she started regularly creating Arts it's

also not uncommon for the artist to

thank the painted drawn or sculpted

subject has a life beyond the canvas

page or block which leads me to the main

interpretation that onlookers seem to

come to which is that the bird deity

represents the power of creation and The

Liberation that erupts from it

she is a symbol of the artist's own muse

and inspiration the simple room

represents the artist's own safe place I

guess you can call it which in turn is

also her inner world full of mystery and


it's interesting to notice how the many

different types of Alchemist equipment

that could be seen seems to be some sort

of link from the outside world to the

Creator's own Creations a glass pipe

connects into the glass globe enters in

from outside the window which then

connects to this large double chambered

container or a lembic which finally

deposits the different colors of paint

onto her palettes making you can't help

but wonder if this symbolizes the

artist's process of making arts the

outside world inspires her goes through

a complex process of different ideas and

techniques until finally ending up on a

chosen surface generating a fully

recognized Vision that Pharaoh had


this also relates to the violin-like

instruments around their neck perhaps

symbolizing the Influence of Music that

trickles into her work another very

common source of inspiration for many of

the greatest artists in history


the final painting of Remedies Pharaoh

I'd like to share for today's video is

known as the call completed in 1961.

aside from a central figure instantly

reminding me of a Flame Princess from

Adventure Time when I first saw it there

was also another interesting unsettling

Sensation that came to me from his work

which in fact comes from her


what looks like sleeping hooded ghosts

are carved into the walls on either side

of this protagonist the sky above this

tomb-like Courtyard is again murky and

dark and by the looks of the orange glow

against the clouds it appears almost as

if there's a great fire in a distance

hidden from view prompting that familiar

apocalyptic atmosphere that we often see

in our work but what's interesting to

see is the faint sight of what looked

like far off planets hidden behind the

haze of clouds and one of his planets is

blowing out the long swirl of red light

or smoke performs the hair of this

elusive main figure

her face again Bears familiar features

to the artist her large eyes in


her expression is Solemn and radiant

dressed in glowing orange robes giving

off a sort of divine appearance

her left hand is in an open posture of

acceptance whilst her right hand is

holding a small Alchemist alembic

containing a reddish pink fluid and

around her neck a charm with a symbol of

a mortar and pestle

the theme of something beautiful and

full of life traversing through what

looks like a very lifeless and

foreboding environment seems to be a

very common and profound one within her


although varro never really did any

direct self-portraits it's interesting

to notice how many of these ethereal

main characters in her work share her

physical features whilst also remaining

as quite androgynous or not quite human

alter egos but what about the influences

of alchemy that appear in this and many

of her other works well here's a quick

little history lesson on Alchemy first

it's important to note that Alchemy

looking back on it now was a fascinating

but nonetheless futile way of attempting

the ultimately impossible it was never

without its controversies the most

well-known examples of these experiments

would be an alchemist named paracelsis

in the 1500s who believed in invisible

gnomes and nymphs and tried to treat

patients with poisons like Arsenic and


Panic Brands accidentally discovered

phosphorus which is something I guess

but he experimented on 1500 gallons of

human urine to get there

Alchemist and occultist Edward Kelly

fell to turn base Metals into gold as he

promised the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf

II which landed him with a gruesome end

that involved prison poison and an

amputated leg

the fact is although it was a noble

predecessor of modern chemistry and has

influenced the conception of many

methodologies in Imperial science

experiments that could be deemed as

successful to the standards of modern

day science were extremely rare to say

the least

but nevertheless varro would find

Alchemy in the occults incredibly

fascinating she was also drawn to the

work of Hieronymus Bosch who too would

incorporate Alchemist equipment into his

paintings such as a Garden of Earthly


and despite the poor track record of

alchemy in this painting The Alchemist

looks perfectly content as if perhaps an

experiment has proven successful a pure

miracle worker who has achieved their

mission this touches upon that theme

again of something full of Radiance and

hope calmly traveling for a world which

seems so empty of Hope and in many ways

resembles the life and achievements of

pharaoh she too was faced with

Relentless obstacles of failures but

despite everything her art saved her her

passions spiritual beliefs and interests

although unorthodox to many in time

allowed her to create such wondrous

imagery in her Arts that many fell in

love with and in their own unique way

could relate to

perhaps from a certain point of view

then Alchemy did prove to be successful

at least in terms of how she used such

interest to inspire her one-of-a-kind

style that liberated her

so with this detail in mind I see the

cool and a lot of her work in general to

be filled with so much celebratory hope

rather than dreads or unease

although quite creepy imagery still can

be found Pharaoh expressed a power over

these obstacles bravery against fear and

a light within the darkness most

crucially though her entire catalog of

works as well as her Legacy is a

testament to the power of imagination

and the importance of pursuing one's

creative passions


thank you for watching this video I hope

you found it interesting and of course I

hope you found something inspiring

within the work of remedious pharaoh

before she's off as that time again for

artist's corner here I get to share some

artwork sent to me by one of my viewers

and today I'd like to feature the oil

paintings of Simon Costello Simon is an

artist poet and PhD students and

lecturer at University College Dublin he

tells me he frequently explores

substance abuse in Poetics as part of

research producing a collection of

poetry essays an art that deal with

self-disclosure of personal trauma in

the midst of online and public

surveillance landscapes asking a lot of

the key questions why do we do it what

do we gain from it how do we monetize it

for recognition and Merit and when so

much of ourselves is available through

data collection how do we dismantle it

or renew the idea of the self one such

painting of hairs that delves into these

themes is called Jesus recites his

trauma at the open mic a painting made

with charcoal acrylic paints and a very

small amount of his own blood Simon

explains this in great detail as follows

while this can be seen as a somewhat

derivative self-indulgence or

pretentious act the point is to produce

a meta piece of work that shows the

willingness of some artists particularly

poets to excavate their trauma for

publication and performance the blue

crown on top also contains cutouts of

poems that I've had published in many UK

literary journals and magazines and


now obviously for goodness sake I don't

Advocate anyone harming themselves or

making themselves bleed for their Arts

but I can't help but appreciate Simon's

openness about it and the overarching

message and his work which nevertheless

is a noble one but I also really admire

the immediacy of this technique his

brush style is scratchy and bordering on

abstract really emphasizing the jarring

and disturbing sensation I get from his

imagery if you'd like to see more from

Simon please head over to his Twitter

account for the username you see here or

via the link are left in the description


if you're an artist watching and you

potentially like to feature in an

upcoming video I'd love to hear from you

please send your work and a short little

paragraph about yourself to blinddweller please follow me on Instagram

if you want to see what I get up to and

be sure to join my Discord server to

become part of a blind dwellers Art Club

finally as always a huge thank you to

all my patrons and channel members and a

special shout out to my top tier


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Port prayer can be and Carol h

that's all for me today then my friends

see you in the next one soon keep being

creative and bye for now


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