A Badge of Friendship are carrying on their contributions for this our art section this month, with Phantom's singer and bassist, Elsie and Jonny (www.thisisphantom.com). ELSIE: My favourite art movement is the Surrealism of the early 20's. It gave birth to a plethora of incredible artists: painters, writers, film makers, sculptors, photographers etc….all of them highly original, inventive and truly inspirational. The work of surrealist artists is fascinating because it's about looking at the world as if in a dream - where logic doesn’t prevail. I love the freedom of expression that comes from this philosophy. In the Surrealism manifesto published in 1924 you'll find this: "...we are living too engrained in the reign of logic, we have succeeded in dismissing from our minds anything that, rightly or wrongly, could be regarded as superstition or myth. If the depths of our minds conceal strange forces capable of augmenting or conquering those on the surface, it is in our greatest interest to capture them; first to capture them and later to submit them, should the occasion arise, to the control of reason. " - From Le Manifeste du Surréalisme, 1924. Andre Breton. How can anyone not inspired by that statement?! It inspired me to learn to let go. It helped me to remember that "right or wrong", "in or out" is not important. It is not real. Creating is not about satisfying constraint. PHANTOM is about exploring what I am capable of creating. Rules are not important in that world. It is the Surrealism manifesto and the work of its artists that absolutely inspired me to get PHANTOM off the ground. Here's a list of some of our favourite artists of that movement: Man Ray: He revolutionized the art of photography, invented the photographic technique of solarisation and created a technique using photograms; he called rayographs. His short films are also magnificent - it’s astonishing to think those were made in the 20’s. He’s a true visionary. www.manraytrust.com Cocteau: I simply adore jean Cocteau. He’s a poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright and luminaire. Cocteau has a way of telling a story like no other, for me he’s the master of creating vignettes of mesmerizing worlds. He also had quite a twisted sense of humour which I love. Marcel Duchamp: A French born painter and mixed media artist who relocated to America. He’s associated with Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism, though he avoided any alliances. Duchamp’s work is characterized by its humour, the variety and unconventionality of its media. Although he’s mostly known for his “urinal installation” - to me, his genius is in the Nude Descending a Staircase painting and his abstract films. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Click here for Duchamp on Wikipedia Max Ernst: A German painter, Sculptor and Poet. Mt favourite piece of work from him is a graphic novel called “Une semaine de bonté”. It’s illustrated with fantastic collage of Victorian illustrations re worked. It features some of my favorite drawings of his, characters with lion heads, bird’s heads or even dragon wings. Click here for Une Semaine de Bont on Wikipedia Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Leonor Fini: An Argentinean surrealist painter, novelist - who was also a feline obsessed eccentric. My kind of lady! She painted strong beautiful women in provocative situations, often with men portrayed as lithe figures who are under the protection of her females. Click here for Leonor Fini on CFM Gallery Jonny: Although I have a degree in sculpture, my two favourite pieces of art are both paintings (ok, one's a collage): The Weeping Woman by Picasso and The Snail by Matisse. Critics have always portrayed these artists as "opposites," suspiciously observing each other's moves, seeking to out-do the other: Matisse the "decorative artist," the sumptuous colourist, and Picasso, the more inventive artist, the form-maker. Their obsession with each other's work spurred them on to greater innovation and excellence, as each man sought to out-do the other, like fencers thrusting and parrying, in a relationship that lasted fifty years. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Whatever, both artists have inspired me from an early age to keep going, to try ideas however mad, even if I’m told they may not work. Both paintings are famous images and seeing them as a teenager burnt them into my memory. They're particularly close to me because I have interpretations of them as tattoos: the Picasso on my right upper arm, stretched to fit - and a twist on the usual "bloke with woman tattoo”. The Matisse is on my left arm, reversed because I'm right-handed and well, it wouldn't fit the other way round. When you're next in Tate Modern and you see The Snail, don't just look at it from a distance. Get right up close and you'll see the edges of the roughly painted and torn pieces of paper are covered in pinholes... In PHANTOM, the music we're striving to create isn't trapped in genres or a recreation of music from a bygone era. I like to think that in some way, Pablo and Henri would get what we're trying to do - they'd probably think it was very modern and maybe a bit of a racket... Phantom have also granted us a free download of 'Voodoo Romantic', available here More art from the bands of A Badge of Friendship tomorrow!