Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dali, "The Persistence of Memory"

Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" was created in 1931 as an oil painting on canvas. The image is placed in a desert with a mountain and water occupying the background, while a series of surrealistic images appear in the foreground. To the left, a dead tree sits atop a brown cube or rectangular prism along with a melting clock and a red pocket watch. Across the sole branch of the tree sits another melting clock, an army of ants gather atop the pocket watch, and a fly remains perched on the former melting clock. In the center of the picture appears yet a third melting clock slivering down what seems to be an indecipherable form reminiscent of a distorted human face; the shapes of both an eye and a nose appear visible on the form. In the middle ground, a silver platform juts out slightly from the left of the image.

Dali's tendencies to work in surrealism apply well to this hallucinatory painting. The desert setting cultivates not only the atmosphere necessary to melt clocks, but also the believability of an hallucination. Dali seems to comment on the irrelevance of time as insects fester upon clocks and as he melts palpable object and places them into an arena of immateriality; in other words, surrealism. Time, a man made construction meant to grasp an inconceivable concept, makes for a perfect subject for Dali to paint upon, and, by titling the image as "The Persistence of Memory," Dali seems to parallel the concepts of time and memory; time flows on endlessly as do human memories and thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment