The Surrealist Word of Michael Sowa
Those who admire the work of Surrealist artists will have heard of the work of Michael Sowa. This is because
Michael Sowa is one of the few contemporary Surrealist artists alive today, whose talent is comparable to acclaimed
Surrealists artists of the past.
The roots of surrealism date back to the 1920s, and was a back lash against other forms of painting such
as Impressionism. Surrealism was thought to be much more profound than the work of the
Impressionists and the Fauves. It was concerned with the subconscious and what lay beneath the surface of mere
appearances. It also showed unexpected dichotomies and juxtapositions. Its aim was to challenge perceptions of
reality. Those that influenced the work of the Surrealists included such great figures as Freud.
Some of the first surrealists included artists such as André Breton. However the Surrealist approach to art did not only include paintings but also
literature, and film.
Whilst for a certain time, interest in Surrealist art took back stage as other forms of art became more popular
there has recently been a surge of interest in this form of art. The popularity of the art of Michael Sowa has been somewhat responsible for this. Words used to
describe his work include, whimsical, magical and humorous, and there is no doubt that much of his work exemplifies
Surrealism. The opening of a museum in Brussels in May 2009 dedicated to the work of the Surrealist Renee Magritte has also contributed to an increased interest in Surrealist art.
Michael Sowa as with other Surrealist artists has not confined his talents to painting. He is also involved in
the world of film and literature. His illustrations for children’s books have delighted children and adults
worldwide. Music lovers have been captivated by his art work and costume designs for the Opera, ‘The Magic Flute.’
However his connections with the world of music are not only limited to Opera. He has also designed art work for
the cover of albums and singles by the music group the The Beautiful South.
His successful book entitled,
Sowa's Ark: An Enchanted Bestiary has delighted fans of Surrealism, who were eager for someone to take the place of Renee Magritte.
Art critics have described the work of Renee Magritte as humorous and thought provoking. The same words have
been used to describe the work of Michael Sowa.
The portfolio of work by Michael Sowa typifies the Surrealist outlook. The fact that he has chosen animals as a
major theme in his work has meant that not only do fans admire his work but that they also have sentiments of
affection for this artist. His paintings show animals doing extraordinary things.
As with other Surrealists that have gone before him, Michael Sowa is continually seducing and surprising the public
with his art and his creative process. Not only is Michael Sowa one of the most well known contemporary
Surrealists, but he is also one of the most well known German artists alive today.
Michael Sowa is one of the most well loved contemporary Surrealist artists He is often compared to the
extraordinary Belgian Surrealist, Renee Magritte. The portfolio of Michael Sowa is extremely diverse and wide
ranging. It includes paintings, film work, and covers for music albums. Michael Sowa is particularly loved
for his books. His fan base includes children as well as adults.
Sowa's Ark: An Enchanted Bestiary has known enormous success. This book contains over fifty paintings by Michael Sowa. The first
edition of Sowa’s Ark was published in 1996 and a second edition was published in 2006. This book has become a
popular coffee table book. It is dedicated to animals painted in a Surrealist manner. It includes paintings
such as a duck pushing a wheel barrow, and a pig in a soup bowl. Those who admire the work of Michael Sowa
have described the book as thought provoking, funny, as well as a publication which evokes sympathy and
He has also created the illustrations for children’s books. The titles of these books include,
Esterhazy: The Rabbit Prince. This book was written by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Irene Dische. The illustrations by Michael
Sowa which accompany this book have delighted thousands of children worldwide. Prince Esterhazy is the story
of a rabbit that goes to Berlin to find a bride and finishes by witnessing the destruction of the Berlin
He has illustrated the book by Axel Hacke, entitled,
A Bear Called Sunday. This is the story of a little boy and his bear that are inseparable. He has also illustrated
another book by the same author entitled,
The Little King December. In 2009 an exhibition at the Sogo Museum of Art in Japan, displayed the original drawings for the
publication, ‘Little King December,’ also known in German as ‘Der Klein Koning Dezember.’ In fact the
children’s books which are illustrated by Michael Sowa are not only purchased by children but also by adults
who are fans of his work.
Those that adore the imaginative, wonderful world of Michael Sowa purchase not only his books but also other
mediums of his art work. His work exists in the form of prints, calendars, note cards and postcards. Of course some
lucky few are able to purchase original work by this artist. Those who admire his illustrations for children’s
books and his book ‘Sowa’s Art,’ await eagerly another publication.
He is also well known for his cover art albums for the successful music group, The Beautiful South. He attracted
a new fan base of film lovers when he created original art work for the French film entitled ‘The Fabulous Destiny
of Amelia Poulain.’ He has also created cover pages for such famous publications as the New Yorker.
Art critics who pontificate on the reasons why his work is so popular often say that his work is humorous, and
imaginative whilst at the same time being extremely powerful. Of course he has a great following amongst those who
admire Surrealist art.