Haunting Surreal Photographs from the 60s Inspired by Children’s Nightmares


Noted American photographer Arthur Tress is known for his strangely posed and articulated surrealist work. Born in November of 1940, he was merely in his twenties when one of his most poignant collections of work came to life.

Depicting the dreams of children in the eeriest of forms, he dives into the subconscious side of children’s minds and draws out their biggest fears in the haunting photos that follow.

The series came about while working with professor Richard Lewis. More specifically, the idea was born while observing an exercise of sorts that asked children to write essays and create paintings of their dreams.


After the psychoanalysis — which was quite obviously inspired by the works of Sigmund Freud with a touch of Jungian’s archetypes tossed in there — Tress began collaborating with younger subjects in his work to depict these dreams in rather surreal photographs that you’d probably rather browse in broad daylight:














Rather simply composed, yet brilliantly executed, these images provide a strange, dark look at the strange subconsciousness of children as they learn to interpret the world around them.

To see more of Tress’s work, or if you’d like to find out more about the surrealist photographer, you can head on over to his website by clicking here.

(via Feature Shoot)

Image Credits: Photographs by Arthur Tress and used with permission

  • David Vaughn

    Dear god these are legitimately creepy.

  • Zos Xavius

    Love! Love! Love!

  • p.rock

    But wait I don’t get how were these excellent photos taken without a 36 Megapixel ISO 512000000 camera?

  • Marc Weisberg

    I met Arthur some years ago twice in the same year. Very interesting man.

  • Burnin Biomass

    These are fantastic images. The images range from slight unease to OMG WTH!!! The exception is the iron one, I dont know if its the processing or the image, but is is a little lifeless as compared to the others.

  • Dover

    If you can’t afford one, just say so. Buying camera gear is a choice up to each individual. Other peoples choices do not affect your bank account one bit. Get some ointment for godsakes.

  • Douglas Clarke

    Dover I believe p.rock was referring to the fact that Mr. Tress did all this unique work in a time when analog was all there was to work with. It definitely would be much easier to pull off with todays digital cameras and photo editing programs. It didn’t come off to me as an underhanded remark about anyones choice of equipment.

  • Shinji’s Soul Reaver

    If you don’t understand sarcasm, just say so.

  • Dover

    This has nothing to do with understanding sarcasm but thanks for the cheap shot. Of course p.rock made a sarcastic comment. But it was also dripping with criticism of those that choose higher end cameras. If every other aspect of an image were identical with exception to the resolution and noise levels, the higher end camera would have a technically superior image. Remember, you can dumb down an ultra high res image to mimic a lower res sensor image, but you cannot dumb up an image taken with a lower end camera. Sorry you missed the obvious point I made.

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