Salvador Dali, possibly the face of surrealism? What is Surrealism? Surrealism is an avant-garde movement in art and literature, developed in the 1920’s, that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind. Something I like to think I became concerned with at an early age. As a child I was sent to a private catholic school and was mostly exposed to classic religious imagery. When I first saw ‘The Persistence of Memory’ by Dali I was completely floored.Never before had I seen something that felt so surreal and dreamlike. Naturally I wanted more and my interest in art and its symbolism began.
Dali’s painting skills have been attributed to the influence of the renaissance masters. His skills also extended into film, photography and sculpture. Dali was a man of luxury, claiming to have a “love of everything gilded and excessive.” Dali was also a public figure, often found to be acting with grandiosity His behavior made him more known for how he acted than his art in some circles.
I’ve chosen this particular work of art because it reminds me so very much of the tarot card of death, something I’ll be talking more about in my final project. The card is of course symbolic of a death whether it be a person or relationship or the end of a job, But also symbolizes a rebirth. And as a phoenix rises from ashes Dali shows us that even as death heads towards the tower a new beauty of life and light is just around the corner.
In my research about this painting I found that Dali’s use of the tower was meant as a sexual metaphor (Surprise!) The tower was symbolic of Dali’s erotic daydreams with cypress trees hiding them just outside of view. Cypress trees as well as towers were recurring themes in dali’s work. The horseman is seen here the horse is rotting away to skeleton while the horseman himself seems to have lost his flesh many years ago. Dali chose not to use too much color here and in doing so sharpens the objects in the foreground and mutes the colors scaling backworks in the composition to create distance. I personally feel Dali could have chosen to add another subject or some more story as to why the horseman is headed to the tower. I also think some use of color in the horse could really have given the flesh a more lifelike eerie quality. Not that dali didn’t do a good enough job on his own.
Hell I like to dream guys how about you?
What do you like about the painting?
What do you think Dali was trying to express?
What was your first experience with surrealism like?
What is the importance of tapping into our subconscious?
All of his works http://www.wikiart.org/en/salvador-dali