In my studies at Greenside Design Centre, we came across many designers and artists who are inspirational and unique in every aspect of their work. But one that stood out the most for me was Salvador Dali. In case you have never heard of him, I will give you a brief background.
Salvador Domènec Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), known as Salvador Dalí was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter. He was a skilled draftsman best known for his striking and rather strange images throughout his work. His skills of painting are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best known work “The persistence of memory” was completed in 1931, but his expansive artistic repertoire is also inclusive of film, sculpture and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of different media.
Dali was highly imaginative and his work employed extensive symbolism, for example, In “The persistence of memory”, he suggests that Einstein’s theory that time is relative and not fixed, elaborating on the idea that clocks function symbolically. The elephant is also a recurring image in Dali’s work, it first appeared in 1944 which is basically a distortion of space, and the elephant’s spindly legs contrast the idea of weightlessness within structure.
“I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly.” – Salvador Dali, in Dawn Ades, Dali and Surrealism. The egg is another common Dali expression; he connects the egg to the prenatal and intrauterine, in order to symbolize hope and love. It appears in the "Great Masturbator" and the "Metamorphosis of Narcissus". Various animals also feature throughout his work, ants point to death, decay and immense sexual desire, the snail is connected to the human head and locusts are the symbol of waste and fear. Below I have spoken about “The persistence of memory” in depth as it is one of my favorites. Have a look at his work; let me know what you think.
Apparition of a Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach
The Great Masturbator
The Persistence of Memory
“The Persistance of memory” is in my books one of the greatest artworks of Dali. It was created in 1931 and its essence is great because it is unrealistic and has multiple interpretations. The shapes and objects in the painting are heavily distorted, making it virtually unrecognizable. It was created with rich philosophical and psychological elements, so basically anybody can interpret it in their own way and they won’t ever be wrong, that is why it is truly a magnificicent masterpiece.
Influence of Salvador Dali Hometown in Spain
“The Persistence of memory” was drawn based on one of Dali’s childhood experiences in Port Lligat, Spain, which portrays the background of his hometown where he was born and raised. Many objects such as the beach and rocky landscape are speculated to be part of Port Lligat, and Dal’s experiences in his hometown serve as the foundation for this eccentric painting.
The Melting Clocks
The main aspect of this painting is the melting clocks which are extremely flexible; its interpretation speaks of time being like a piece of cheese that has multiple holes and can be easily twisted. It is speculated that time is unreliable and that memory can be deceiving according to Dali.
The Bright and the Dark Side
If you take a closer look, you will notice that a portion of the painting is covered by light while other parts are clouded in darkness. These two contradicting conditions are accompanied by two rocks that look identical, they are, but there is a significant difference. One is well lit, while the other is in total darkness, a certain speculation of this condition shows that the rock on the light side is similar to our memory in terms of accuracy, it is said that memory is quite accurate when it comes to memorizing irrelevant details.
Swamp of Ants
The melting clock in the lower left corner seems to be bombarded with a swamp of ants that seem to be eating away at the clock, which can often be interpreted as time being taken away. According to Dali’s critiques, the attack of the clock represents fear and anxiousness related to a short amount of time.
Salvador Dali’s Own Interpretations of the Painting
Throughout Dali’s years of surrealist paintings and true masterpieces, his lips were kept tight or he gave an unrealistic or incorrect interpretation of his paintings. The reason for this is often thought that Dali was trying to confuse critiques and painting enthusiast, at the end of the day we will never really know why, but I feel that whether you hear and believe others interpretations, or you make up your own, I believe that Dali created them this way, so we all could have freedom of speech, so we could all make up our own minds, and in essence, be our own realists through his paintings. According to most critiques, it was not a bad thing that he never said anything, they believe that it was just the way Dali liked to encourage painting enthusiasts and his followers to present different meanings and interpretations of his artwork, and to me this makes total sense, if he were to interpret his paintings for us, we would have a fixed image in our minds, and through that, we would probably never explore different possibilities, as we would believe what we hear and leave it at that. Thank you Dali.
The City Of The Drawers
The Face Of War
Woman with Draws
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