Magic realism is an artistic style applied to different forms of arts, such as literature, painting, film, and other media. Magic Realist art is anchored in everyday reality, but has overtones of fantasy or wonder. The genre is characterized by an acceptance of the unreal as a natural part of reality. The subject matter of Magic Realism includes commonplace objects from everyday life mixed with elements of the fantastic, drawing from the artist’s imagination, interwoven into a magical fabric.
Magic Realism often depicts fantastical, supernatural, magical elements as ordinary. Likewise, the ordinary is frequently described as spectacular. Similar genres like science fiction and fantasy create speculative worlds in order to accommodate the unreal; however, magical realist works use the real world as the setting and any unreal elements of the story exist naturally as if they have always been part of the world.
Magic realism developed as an art movement after World War I. For many decades thereafter, numerous artists in Europe and the Americas crafted a representational art, mixed with elements of fantasy. This art is often typified by remarkable detail and sharp focus. Yet, more importantly, Magic Realism taps into emotional reservoirs within all of us. It tricks us by hiding unexpected or suggestive content in what, at first, might seem to be a common or ordinary scene. Magic Realist artists portray everyday life, but they add a twist of the bizarre and unusual. They use dreamlike and fantastical elements in their art, but their subject matter always remains within the realm of the possible.