Instead of an actual definition of Surreal, it should just read one person's name and that is Salvador Dali. The dude was Surreal in all aspects of his life.
End of 07, beginning of 08, LACMA hosted a show of Salvador Dali's work. It was extensive from early art, to set designs for the movie Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound to the ccollaboration with Walt Disney called Destino, which was truly amazing.
For some reason the project was scraped, either from budget issues or personality issues or a bit of both. In 2003, Disney opened the archives and finally completed the animation.
I was surprised how small the painting The Persistence of Memory was. When you see it in books or in photos, it seems so larger than life but it's only 8x10, if that.
Dali loved Hollywood. He is quoted by saying . . ."I'm in Hollywood, where I've made contact with the three American Surrealists, Harpo Marx, Disney and Cecil B. DeMille."
I like how LACMA used large screens and video to capture Dali's work and yet traditional display of his work. One room had one end of the room screening Dali's screen test that he did for Andy Warhol and then at the other end was the same screening but upside down. There was no sound and it didn't show much. In fact it didn't make sense but I guess that was the point. There was a lot of work to view. To much in fact that it became overwhelming and that they were letting in a lot of people at one time, so things were bottlenecked at certain points.