I also recommend that you check the following pages:

Dream Multimedia ( mostly Youtube videos related to dreams )

My own dream art ( let’s all agree that I do not consider myself an artist! )

 

This is a list of artworks related to dreams. This list will evolve as time goes on, so keep on coming back to read more about the new stuff I’ll add. There are painters, writers, movies, songs who are strongly associated with dreams. When an artist creates something he/she saw in a dream, I always find it most fascinating. It’s like entering in one’s mind and exploring the infinite, to touch creation itself.

WRITERS AND PAINTERS

  • Howard Phillips Lovecraft is well known to have found various ideas for his dark fantasy short stories and other works after having dreams and nightmares. He created what is known as the Cthulhu mythos, a series of stories involving mostly gigantic space aliens who are considered as gods. Most of them have deep hatred, disdain or a total lack of interest towards the human race, which is considered weak and unworthy of living. Lovecraft has been quite controversial in his time because of the racism and church-defying themes found in his stories. His fame truly increased after his death. The creation of metal music probably contributed to this. Many metal fans hold great respect for Lovecraft’s works. His works often come close to many occult themes and he has been known for discussing his writings with famous occultist Aleister Crowley.

The Haunter of the Dark and Other Grotesque VisionsThe Thing On The DoorstepThe Crawling Chaos

  • Hans Ruedi Giger is mostly known for creating the xenomorph alien, mostly labeled simply as the “Alien” in the movie franchise of the same name, starring Sigourney Weaver. He is a painter and sculptor, most of the time. In interviews, he said that most of the creatures he paints and sculpts come from his dreams, nightmares and night terrors. Similarities between Lovecraft and Giger have often been pointed out. His work often has a vague, ambiguous or strong sexual look and mostly blends metal and machines to living, organic beings. His works often come close to the occult.

Giger’s PaintingsGiger’s Necronom VMother With Child

  • Salvador Dali, who was a strong influence on H.R. Giger’s work, also created paintings involving surrealistic scenes which evoke dreams. Here are some of his famous pieces:

Dali’s most famous workGeopolitic ChildTemptation

  • Franz Kafka wrote many works associated with dreams, including a dream journal.
  • Francisco Goya, a famous painter, made a series of artworks during the later years of his life. They would depict strange and haunting scenes very similar to those found in nightmares. Most would bear violent themes, witchcraft and supernatural beings. I, myself, have found a fascination for those paintings and I must say that Goya is perhaps my favorite painter of all time.

 

 

BOOKS AND POETRY

  • The world famous Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll is, perhaps, the most popular book on dreams and the possibility that dreams are part of another universe.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy, written by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien often relates the dreams of the characters, mostly the main one, Frodo.
  • Le Dormeur du Val ( The Sleeper of the Valley), a poem by famous french poet Arthur Rimbaud relates the ( apparently true ) story of Rimbaud finding a sleeping soldier and then realizing that the soldier was, in fact, dead, pointing out the similarities between sleep and death and bringing forth the possibility that death is only another form of sleeping. He is, of course, pointing out the obvious absurdity of war as well. The fact that he describes the soldier within a heavenly natural scenery means that death is indeed beautiful, but not when it is caused by a violent act. Here is the actual poem in its french, original version:

 

” C’est un trou de verdure, où chante une rivière,
Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons
D’argent; où le soleil, de la montagne fière,
Luit: c’est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.

Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue,
Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson bleu,
Dort; il est étendu dans l’herbe, sous la nue,
Pâle dans son lit vert ou la lumière pleut.

Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme
Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme:
Nature, berce-le chaudement: il a froid.

Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine.
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit. “

 

Translated ( with my very poor skills! ):

 

” It is a hole of green, in which a river sings,
Tangling madly with grass,
Silvery rags, on which the sun, from the proud mountain,
Shines: it is a little valley that foams with rays.

A young soldier, mouth open, head naked,
And the neck bathing in the fresh blue cress,
Sleeps. He is lying on the grass, under the mist,
Pale in his green bed on which the light rains.

Feets in gladioluses, he sleeps. Smiling as,
A sick child would smile, he is having a nap;
Nature, soothe him with warmth: he is cold.

The perfumes do not make his nostrils shiver,
He is sleeping within the sun his hand on his chest,
Tranquil, he has two red holes on his right side. “

 

  • The Sandman, a comic book by Neil Gaiman, is a very artistic franchise by DC comics. It relates the story of a character who rules the world of dreams.

Sandman

  • Le Petit Prince ( The Little Prince ), written by Antoine de St-Exupéry is the story of a man lost on a desert after crashing his plane, meeting with a young boy and having multiple evasive yet philosophical conversations with him. As the book progresses, the young boy who claims to be a prince on a very small planet ( which is in fact an asteroid ) tells of his travels on various other planets, including the earth. The entire book has a strong dream-like feeling to it. St-Exupéry actually crashed in the Sahara desert in the 1930s and this most probably influenced his writing of the book. He would later serve during World War II while executing a recon mission for the Free French Forces over what was at-the-time Nazi German territory. He crashed once again in an airplane, but, unfortunately, died.

The Little Prince

MOVIES

  • Dreams, by, perhaps, my favorite movie maker, Akira Kurosawa, is a series of dreams which Kurosawa actually experienced himself. He chose to recreate them in a movie. There are various kinds of dreams, from calm and appeasing ones to nightmares. It would be one of the last works by Kurosawa who died some years later.

Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams”

  • Waking Life, directed by Richard Linklater is an animated movie about a young man who finds himself in a dream ( or is it reality? ) and has many philosophical encounters with various strange and inspiring individuals.

“Waking Life”

  • The famous Nightmare on Elm Street franchise involve Freddy Krueger, a deceased serial killer who became an evil spirit who goes on a series of murders by killing people both in their dreams and in reality at the same time.

Nightmare on Elm Street

  • In the Japanese movie Spirited Away made by acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki, a man and his wife along with their daughter enter a tunnel after being lost on the road. They soon find themselves in a spirit world which has many references to Japanese mythology.

Spirited Away

MUSIC AND SONGS

  • A Perfect Circle’s “Sleeping Beauty” is about a woman ( the singer’s actual mother )in coma and her son’s desire to wake her up.
  • Aphex Twin’s Come To Daddy video is a perfect example of what a nightmare is all about.

Come to Daddy

  • Arcade Fire made a song titled “Rebellion” that is about the refusal of sleeping. In the song, the narrator claims that we can live our dreams in reality. Another song, “Keep The Car Running”,is about a man who has recurring sleep paralysis and he believes that the beings he sees are some sort of ghosts trying to take him away ( so he can leave his body and die ). However, he does not believe in any religion, so the fear of leaving reality is keeping him from dying, hence the title ” Keep The Car Running “. In the lyrics, he says that ” He told them his name “, that means that he was baptized according to a religion, but he then forgot about that religion. He is also referring to a river, the fabled Styx, where the pagans sail to the land of the dead.
  •  Bruce Springsteen’s “Dead Man Walking” is about the theory involving the afterlife dream. Many people who came close to die recall having a dream with a strong meaning. In this song, the character finds a pale horse and rides it. He is ready to face God’s judgment.
  • Captain Beefheart has multiple songs involving other worlds. Most of the time, they are the worlds of the artists. The initial world is of the “ordinary people” living their routine every single day. “The Floppy Boot Stomp”, for example, is a song about the reshaping of the world through artistic dreams. “Frownland” is about an artist who found so much interest in the artistic world that he cannot find anymore likeness to his old friends who did not follow him. Captain Beefheart is also well known for being one of the best painter of the abstract art of the last century.
  • David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” is a philosophical conception that our reality is the creation of a dream and that with all dreams there is an ending. The “Outside” album is also very connected to dreams. “Thru These Architects Eyes” is about a man who has a holy vision of being a god himself and laying his eyes on the universe, most probably through a dream. The first of Bowie’s many hits, titled “Space Oddity”, is about crossing a border where our conceptions of reality are no more by travelling through space.
  • David Gilmour’s songs often create a dream-like feeling with the aid of his incredible skills as a guitarist. “On An Island” is about sharing a dream with someone else during the exact same night.
  • Megadeth has a series of songs involving dreams. “Die Dead Enough” is about the strong feeling of helplessness and lack of power against an invincible enemy within a dream. “Sleepwalker” is about killing an enemy in real life by killing him through a lucid dream.
  • Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is about a recurring nightmare where a mysterious and scary character invites the dreamer to cross a border that could lead to hell, heaven or, perhaps, something the human mind has not yet conceived. Their songs titled “The Thing That Should Not Be “ and ” The Call of Ktulu “ are both about H.P. Lovecraft’s work.
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Eddie Vedder’s “The Long Road” is, about the conception of a path leading to heaven in the afterlife. Most people who came close to dying have dreamt of a similar thing.
  • Pearl Jam made some songs about dreams as well. “I’m Open” is about a fully grown man who threw away all of the mystical and magical conceptions of life that he created as a child. He is now living in a room with no door. The only thing that is in the room is a bed and sheets of paper. He then has a dream which allow him to rediscover a world full of mysteries. He then believes that there is indeed magic in this world, and builds his new self with these thoughts. “Red Mosquito”is about hallucinations created by a disease. The narrator finds himself hallucinating the devil hovering over his bed, pretty much like the sleep paralysis phase of hypnagogia.
  • Pink Floyd’s songs also bear many surreal lyrics. “Any Colour You Like” even if it has no lyrics, could be about the power of creativity, perhaps through a dream or some other border outside of reality ( perhaps with the use of drugs, heh! ).
  • Radiohead’s song named ” How To Disappear Completely ” is about an out-of-body experience.
  • R.E.M.’s song “I Don’t Sleep I Dream” is about the miscommunication between lovers. They live together, have sex together, but they cannot understand each other’s dreams.
  • Roger Watter’s The Pros & Cons Of Hitch-Hiking is about a man dreaming about various things, mostly connected with his girlfriend/wife who is sleeping besides him. It’s all about multiple human behaviors.
  • Tom Waits also wrote many surreal works. “Everything You Can Think” is about the infinite possibilities of a dreamland. “Watch Her Disappear” is the rememberance of a dream.
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One Response to “Dream Art”

  1. Ben Says:

    This list is great!

    BTW – that Aphex Twin video is seriously twisted!

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