Unmasking the Uncanny: Paintings that Imitate Dream Material and Psychology

Material Information

Unmasking the Uncanny: Paintings that Imitate Dream Material and Psychology
Coleman, Carly
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Abstractionism ( jstor )
Dreams ( jstor )
Lucidity ( jstor )
Motifs ( jstor )
Surrealism ( jstor )
Unconscious mind ( jstor )
Uncanny, The (Psychoanalysis)
Undergraduate Honors Thesis


My dream-like worlds and the bizarre characters who inhabit them explore the Freudian concept of “the uncanny,” the psychological term for the uncomfortable feeling of encountering that which is simultaneously strange and familiar. Dreams, in their bizarre churning and constant resurfacing of otherwise forgotten experiences, become an ideal medium for investigation of the uncanny sensation. But even the most vivid, realistic dream, like a painting, is never an exact representation of our reality—both are inevitably distorted yet carefully constructed by the creator, either the painter or the unconscious realm of the dreamer’s mind. Through abstractions, warped reflections, and reconstructions of what I actually see in our world, I seek to compare and connect painting with the act of dreaming. In doing so, I blur the distinctions between figure and ground, between observed and imagined, and between actual objects and their reflected images, resulting in paintings of surreal landscapes that blend the strange and fantastic with our familiar reality. Also, glass is a recurring motif in my dreamscapes that I use to symbolize clarity and the strange lucidity of dreams. Fragile like our minds, glass is particularly vulnerable to distortion, fragmentation, and infiltration by “the unrestrained, exaggerated, monstrous” quality of dreaming that Sigmund Freud describes. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Fine Arts; Graduated May 7, 2013 summa cum laude. Major: Art, Emphasis/Concentration: Painting
General Note:
Advisor: Julia Morrisroe
General Note:
College of Fine Arts

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Carly Coleman. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.


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