The Persistence of Memory Spain, 1931, Salvador Dali creates an abstract oil on canvas portrayal or the knowledge that is gained through ones dreams, visions, and intuition. The Persistence of Memory, 1931 portrays an abstract view of time and visions that Dali envisioned. Perhaps, his most famous work was The Persistence of Memory, which he painted in his younger years in the 30s. The Persistence of Memory, 1931, elevates the influence of the subconscious mind through fantasy like images, color, composition, and thought provoking images.
Dali uses abstract images to represent a balance of altered views, conveying what is reality and what is from the mind’s eye. Note the mysterious rugged rocks in the background to the right. Dali shows a genuine, dim sort of sun set like landscape, with the rocks illuminated and projecting up in the background. In the foreground, an illusory sort of human form appears to dissolve to the ground. Separate Melting Watch images balance the focal point of the work. His use of these two elevated shapes balances the form of a tree and yet another time piece below, evoking curiosity of the meanings.
Dalis’s practice of utilizing color and shading contrast also demonstrates the mystery of the entire piece. The vivacious hue of the skies flowing directly into the glassy surface of liquid gives a feeling of peacefulness in the background. The rocks are shown to reflect off the smooth top of water, seemingly as a mirror would. The contrast of this calm lies in the foreground, projecting a sense of dim, mysterious set objects along with the earth. Also, Dali uses the dark brown surface of ground fading into a lighter brown to lead the viewer towards what may appear as an image of a mortal form that has liquefied and sunk to the earth.
The two silver and gold time pieces hold the entire view together. In the image, the silver piece lies on what may be the human figure along with another silver hang from the limb of a tree. These silver time pieces immediately navigate the observer’s eyes toward the larger gold watch which rests on an opaque raised brown surface. Dali does this specifically to construct an optical connection with the raised dead tree trunk form and cool ground. Resting towards the bottommost left is an animated auburn time piece infested with insects.
This object stands out due to the livelier use of color. Though standing out, the auburn time piece still maintains a sense of balance as a directed result of the yellowish form of rocks in the upper right corner. While Dali’s use of color in this artwork may be of no significance to the “meaning” of the work, the contrast within the landscape and surrounding objects interact significantly, creating a visual experience that words do not justify. The use of composition in this work is immense due to the imaginative material used to demonstrate the ideas behind the work.
One thing that stands out particularly is a sloping route of shadowing that flows amid the rocks and the forefront; perhaps to distinguish the line between surreal and real cognitions. Dali practices duplication and coherence by painting the clocks favoring each other and also in relevant proximity in hopes of pulling the piece of art together. Throughout the entire image projection, each object serves as a gateway directly to the proceeding image, creating an experience of multiple thought provoking images synonymously.
Another example of this lead from image to the next is found near the rocks. These stones guide the observer directly into the formless creature that lie on the dark cold ground; then leading immediately into the focal point of the picture being the watches. Dali also used the use of two secretive elevated rectangular planes in the work which balance out the left side of the painting. A cold tree trunk standing on the largest elevated surface leads the viewer’s eyes in a circle back to where focus began at.
This stub is seemingly cold and lifeless, with one time piece hanging from its outstretched limb. Dali stimulates the spectator’s mind, leading the individual on a subconscious escapade (as he initially intended during composition). The different abstract images shown in The Persistence of Memory, 1931, create a merry-go-round as each image leaves the observer in a state of wonder, drawing them in. The image of what seems to be some sort of shapeless human form brings about questions of the relevance of the images existence.
Dali attempted to portray an insignificant self-image in a world possessing a significant amount of more chaos and importance. These timepieces are intended to demonstrate the importance in daily living that time and measurement play in each individual’s life. The melting watches are a profound representation that is frequently linked with hallucinations and surrealism. These images are used to convey an alternate sense of reality which takes place in human cognition, further guiding individuals away from the actuality of reality.
In my opinion, Dali accurately portrays the human mind in the way that it views precisely what it favors. His extremely abstract use of images and color create a visual experience unlike the majority. This work is a perfect example of leaving the meaning up to the mind and opinions of the observer. This remarkable work of art promotes the sway of unconscious thoughts through illusory images, color, arrangement, and mind stimulating images.