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Surrealism in the Art of Dali

The Temptation of Saint Anthony

Salvador Dali was a leading 20th century artist, who was very versatile and even today remains revered in the art world. His is well known for his surreal art, as he is one of the few artists back then credited for pioneering the Surrealist art movement. Dali was introduced to the surreal art movement when he went on a trip to Paris. His mentor was veteran artist known as Joan Miro a fellow Spaniard. Dali was mainly inspired the by psychoanalytic techniques of Segmund Freud which he claimed had inspired him to create his very own technique, and called it ‘paranoiac-critical’.

Even though Dali mostly majored in painting he was also involved in sculpt making, films, printmaking, writing, fashion, and advertising. Dali is well remembered for his flamboyant personality and also his role in playful provocative art. Salvador Dali painted some of the most famous surrealist paintings and indeed became an idol of the surrealist movement. He boasts of lots of surrealist artworks but perhaps one of the most amazing surreal art work that he did was the Persistence of Memory. Which by any standard is the most famous painting of any surrealist movement ever done!

The Persistence of Memory shows us a few seemingly soft or melted pocket watches lying about in an open land.  Dali’s message was to show that time and space are relative and that we, in fact, live in a universe of complete disorder.

Persistence of MemoryThe Persistence of Memory


Painting titled "Galatea of the Spheres" by Salvador Dali, showing his muse, Gala, painted from hundreds of spheresGalatea of the Spheres

Painted in 1952, Galatea of the Spheres combines Dali’s consistent obsession (Gala) with his newfound scientific interest in the molecules and atoms that tie the world together.

In his surrealist art, Dali managed to win hearts and captured minds because of the way he did his work in a unique way. Perhaps his physical aspect of doing his work uniquely and his appalling statements mesmerized his followers. Indeed his paintings were genius and himself was out of the ordinary man whose taste was bizarre. Dali created his art in a unique way by fusing them with his urges and feelings as well as his love for the world of dreams. What made Dali become absolutely outstanding was his unique sense in which he used imagination to create his unique signature. His work was full of symbols something that enabled him to cut a niche for himself amidst the other artists of his time. He had his own style in surrealism art that would make him a worldwide renowned art icon.

Sadly after Dali was enjoined to the surrealist art movement, he was later rejected from the movement for vague reasons. It is claimed that he was rejected for what his pundits claimed to be and his mental issues as well as his extremely fanciful ways. This would later leave Dali lonely but nonetheless continue his research and succeed to start a different kind of work which was christened ‘Critical Paranoia’. In this new method, his works depicted fantasies that are stacked in the form of pictorial rebus with perfect technique as well as dream symbols.

Dali indeed left a lasting mark in the art world and even after his death today his influences in art especially surrealism art still reigns supreme. Almost any art lover today as well as artist will tell you that they recognize the works of Dali. He still remains an icon in the art world and probably will remain so for many years in the foreseeable future.

Written by Alya Khemji

Source: https://medium.com