Surrealism was founded in 1924 by Andre Breton. Although it has come to be known primarily through the visual arts, Surrealism was not a visual idea or style, but a way of looking at life - politically, socially, philosophically as well as aesthetically. "Surrealism is the wish for absolute freedom.to set people free, to save them." Surrealists defied rationalism and strove to create artworks that were untainted by the conscious mind. Their fascination with dreams, sexuality, madness, to name a few, served as inspirations for their artworks. The object was a very popular medium for their expression. The found object, the readymade object, the dreamt, the box and the symbolically functioning object were some of the significant variations that were invented or used since the start of the movement. .
"The object was a collage in three dimensions" Surrealist artists used materials that were not normally considered suitable for art, often in combination with conventional paints. They used debris and waste products of society, items from lost property departments and Flea Markets - box of glass eyes, a mouldering stuffed eagle gorging on its prey, a fibreglass leg and false teeth. Artists such as Man Ray explains that "the result of looking at something which in itself has no quality or charm. I pick something that in it has no meaning at all. I disregard the aesthetic quality of the object. I am against craftmanship nothing is useless". Thus, the Surrealist artist was capable of taking ordinary objects and creating art works that were either politically, socially, philosophically, aesthetically or personally meaningful.
Surrealism viewed the found object as intrinsically valuable. "When seen from a distance, the found object possesses an attraction that is obvious. It is usually an old-manufactured object, whose practical function is not known and about whose origin nothing is known." Joan Miro's Poetic Object was constructed out of a variety of found objects.