A breakfast in fur and nightmare angels: Surreal Muses

Image: I am the Rose- By June Perkins

My muses for today are the female surrealists, Dorothea Tanning, Meret Oppenheim and Remedios Vara who had to find a voice in surrealism where the men often made women the object of desire in their creations.  It  took Oppenheim sometime to realise her artistic freedom, for although she had much success with her Fur Lined teacup she went through a creative crisis before she became fully confident (sound familiar any women writer/artists out there??).

For Meret Oppenheim

Your Breakfast in Fur
Where an actual cup is lined with a fell
To me it says so much about
Domesticity and glamour
And women confined to their role
And yet art historians say the stir was caused by
Two things unconnected
Placed side by side.

How little do some think about
The inner lives of women
Drawing rooms
And making tea
Or the wearing of furs
The primal origins of both
Man and woman
And history.

Or am I reading too much into your
Gesture and would I make you laugh
If I said today you are my muse.

For Dorothy Tanning

Your Guardian Angels are the stuff of nightmares
But only on closer inspection
Exploring parasomnia is your thing
And yet the biggest nightmare of all
Not to be able to paint and write
And say what you need to, that you have avoided.

For Remedios Vara

I love your giant cats and windmills
And picture after picture
Delights me
You would have been a great fantasy writer
And I have so many ideas when I see your images
I show them to my daughter and she laughs for
here is an artist she can relate to.

© June Perkins, all rights reserved.

Some Interesting Links

This link has general stuff about surrealism, great for the novice.


This has a lot about Oppenheim


Varo’s Paintings- love this link


Published by June

Writer, photographer, lover of unity in diversity in thought and humanity - poet by nature, world citizen

8 thoughts on “A breakfast in fur and nightmare angels: Surreal Muses

  1. Glad you’ve found your way to the women surrealists.

    I like your poem about the fur lined teacup. The surrealists were very interested in sex and the unconscious. Oppenheim’ tea cup also has sexual connotations – still to do with the feminism and the way women were largely contained and restrained within domestic situations at that time but also has do with female sexuality (also being contained and restrained within the domestic?).

    You might like to check out Hannah Hoch (just google her name and lots of sites come up.) She was a German Surrealist and worked during WW11. Her work has political overtones. She made collages from photographs – though the Surrealists called them photo montages.

    What a rich vein of inspiration opens up when women Surrealists are added to the mix. I love you digital photo collage (I guess it says something about the newness of the art form that we can’t really decide on what these these things are called yet).


  2. Thanks for those leads, I am so enjoying learning about new muses to have, had the best technology swap day, with a couple of friends, we are collaborating to put on an exhibition, and all interested in learning more about art. We swapped knowledge today and had the most inspiring time learning from each other. It felt like being in something very special!


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