A mustached Mona Lisa gave birth to Salvador Dali in a room full of melting clocks and he was under the constant threat of being engulfed by a flying fish, but he found a protector in an elephant on stilts. Well maybe not quite so, but Salvador Dali Paintings would definitely say as much.
Salvador Dali Paintings are one of the most important products of self-expression of the 20 th Century. His surreal images are firmly embedded in the collective psyche of the people of our times. He is to art what Sigmund Freud was to psychology.
However his art was sometimes overshadowed by his constant and at times irritating need to attract attention.
All said and done, its also true that history will always remember Dali as one of the most important thinkers of our times and laud his work as “path breaking” to say the least.
The young and not so eccentric Dali
Dali began to paint and draw at an early age. Born to a strict disciplinarian father and a mother with a mind of her own, (who encouraged his art in spite of his fathers strict objection)
Dali, led a normal childhood. A childhood, which belied his later life.He grew up to attend an Art School in Madrid where he attracted attention because of his eccentric dressing sense. But his paintings, which were experimentations with cubism, were much appreciated.However the influence of Picasso in his early paintings is quite evident. Dali internalized the painting styles of many masters as he groped to develop one of his own.
Exhibitions of his paintings in Barcelona were successful.
The older and very eccentric Salvador Dali
Dali began to gain much recognition and fame. He met his muse and lover Gala and joined the surrealist group of painters in Paris. He assisted good friend Luis Bunuel in scripting the film Un chien andalu (1929).
1929 to 1941 were the most productive years of his. He painted paintings such as Persistence of Memory in this period.
He also managed to rub the fellow members of the surrealist group by famously proclaiming, “Surrealism is me”.
As the WWII progressed Dali and Gala moved to the US.
The full name is Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech.
Symbolism in Salvador Dali Paintings
To state that Dali paintings abounded in symbolism would be stating the obvious. The hallmark of his paintings, the soft watches, is a suggestion of Einstein's theory of the relativity of time. The recurrent elephants are metaphors of space.
Some famous Salvador Dali Paintings
Listed below are some famous works from Dali's glittering oeuvre:
The Persistence of Memory (1931)
This is the most famous and recognized of Dali's works. It is also known as Soft Watches and Melting Clocks . The landscape of the Catalonian seashoer is the background for the depiction of the four soft,cheese textured clocks. This painting seems to suggest that time is not as rigid as it seems.
The Great Masturbator (1929)
The center of this painting has a distorted human face looking downwards. There is also a nude female figure enmeshed in this lump of limbs. The hint of fellatio makes this painting disturbingly sexual.
The painting seems to suggest Dali's conflicting attitude towards sex.
The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937)
This painting is based on the myth of Narcicuss , the Greek mythological figure who fell in love with his own reflection. Dali suggest the decadant nature of self love by placing a decaying stone figure which corresponds closely to Narcissus, next to him.
Salvador Dali Paintings are important documentation of the way of life of the 20 th Century and even though Dalí's eccentricity pervaded his life throughout his career it never managed to overshadow his brilliance. He is famous for having said "every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí."