Salvador Dali- the Persistence of Memory

Dali lived in the shadow of his brother all of his life. When he was five he was taken to his brother’s grave and told by his parents that he was his brother’s reincarnation, a concept which Dali came to believe. Dali said, “We resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections. ” “He was probably a first version of myself but conceived too much in the absolute. ” Images of Dali’s long-dead brother would reappear embedded in numerous of Dali’s later art works and this event really impacted the artist he became.

Dali’s first step towards art began when he joined the San Fernando Academy of Fine Art in Madrid. It is here that his passion of art started. At the age of 21 years, Dali’s talent took an boots of confident when he presented his first one-man show in Barcelona. This inspired him so much that it led to him being a recognised as an international artist. Three years later, he attended the annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh and presented amazing detailed pieces of art. Following this was another one-man show in the year 1929.

Dali had been leaving his artistic life as an impressionist all along this period. However, after the 1929 Paris exhibition, he transformed his life into surrealist. As a surrealist, Dali was working with people of distinguished experience. This included artist Dadaist Andre Breton, who was the surrealism artist leader at that time. Dali was becoming perfect and very detailed in every single one of his masterpieces, through persistence, hard work and his extraordinary talent, Dali became the surrealism artist leader from then on.

In 1931 Dali painted probably the most well-known surrealist art works known to man The Persistence of Memory. In this painting we are in front of a surrealistic landscape. It appears to be beach at dusk. The first central item is a strange figure; a soft head with an enormous nose a crease where you would assume would be an eye. This figure lacks a mouth; Its neck is lost in the dark as it rests lazily slept over the dark sand. We see this figure with its eye closed, with enormous eyelashes this object is left to the viewer to assume what this object is.

The second central item is clocks/pocket watches that have appeared to be melted over different objects leaving a sense of lost time to the painting. The first clock/pocket watch is found drooping over the strange figure being consumed by the darkness. The other two clocks: The one that is smaller is closed and has a swarm of ants crowds together on the lid of the watch; the other enormous clock is blue and soft looking that is again melted drooping over an object in this case it is a block that would be assumed to be a table.

This watch has a single fly on the face of the watch; the clock looks like it is slipping off the edge of the table. A broken tree is brought into the painting; this tree with a single branch without leaves on it sits the third clock. To the left on which it seems a rectangular wooden table although it sits on the sand incomplete. The third central item we see is an ocean bay illuminated strongly by the yellow and blue sky below this is a rocky cliff that slowly graduates down into a glass like reflective clear ocean water.

A small stone in the right hand top corner projects its shade on the sand of the beach this stone is left the sea confused with the sandy desert and the reflections in the water. There is another stone in the top right hand corner just below the incomplete table that gives even more depth and shadowing to the image. The clocks are the most prominent design In Dali’s art work the persistence of memory; the drooping pocket watches possibly suggest the irrelevance of time during sleep. In other words, when we are asleep, or not conscious it is like time does not continue, only memories do and feelings do.

This distortion of time can be easily seen by just about anyone who attempts to think about their own dreams and thoughts. The Persistence of Memory may have many interpretations. Some are more meaningful, others remain mysterious. Perhaps the images of the melting clocks are nothing more than ideas influenced by the Camembert cheese left for too long of a period of time on the table on a warm sunny day (as Dali had previously described his inspiration for this painting). But Dali would often make up ridiculous explanations for his paintings to purposely mislead people.

But some peoples view on Dali’s painting is nothing more than a collection of ideas that are to do with the interpretation of everyday objects dreams and nightmares and the perception of reality, time, birth and death. Dali sometimes referred to his paintings as “hand-painted dream photographs” and The Persistence of Memory can certainly be characterized as that. Dali’s paintings are psychologically deep and mentally thought out. Dali is a painter that will be remembered in history and his paintings will live on for generations to come and thousands more will admire his masterpieces.