The title of this artwork is “The persistence of Memory” and it was created in 1931 by Salvador Dali.
My first impression of this work is that this piece of art is hiding a message behind both the composition, shape and abnormality of these drawings. The clocks that are composed in this artwork seem to be distorted and they have lost the real shape that they have would have in reality. I would also mention that it has to do something with time as 4 clocks are placed at the foreground of the painting to attract the attention of the viewer. It is also included in eye illusions that we may face, as the time passes so quickly and sometimes we start having illusions about things having movement. Salvador Dali was interested in elements and things that we face while we dream as well as hallucinations and this artwork shows both the time that passes while we sleep, as well as the unrealistic things that we imagine. I thought that Dali managed to combine the realistic colours of the components that are in this artwork, however still showed that unrealistic shape of them.
The persistence of memory strongly belongs to the tradition of surrealism, as it follows the idea of imagination and the unconscious part of the brain.
Oil paint was used to create this piece of art. I believe he painted this art piece with oil paint on a canvas and he used a brush to create texture on the painting with brushstrokes at several points.
We can see distorted clocks placed mostly at the foreground closer to the middle and left side of the composition. One clock is hanging from a branch of a tree. Two other clocks are placed on a rectangular brown box. The last clock is placed on an object which is laying on the floor.
Salvador Dali had a lot of times mentioned that he was terrified of his own drawings and that he was not paranoid. However, for this specific painting he wanted to illustrate the unrealistic passage of time while we are asleep and dream. He wanted to show that the clocks don’t have any belonging while we dream and that is why they are melting. Some other artists believe that he tried to connect his artwork with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Einstein had said that time is not just a clock, but it is something much more complex and it is not something that always has stayed the same. Dali could have been implying this message behind as the clocks seem they have lost their power and something else is what is more important. The mountains at the background illustrate the golden cliffs on the coast of Catalonia, where his home was found.
Several symbols have been used in this work, firstly it is the clocks. They hide a message of the non-existing importance of them while we dream. Secondly, the white thing that has been placed on the floor, seems like a distorted face. It is said to be a portrait of Dali and he has also mentioned “to systemize confusion and thus to discredit completely the world of reality.” It is kind of an eye-fooling illusion that he created while he was painting.
The colours used are natural earthy colours, he didn’t confuse a lot the viewer with abnormal colours as well to keep a realistic view of this painting. In general, it is not a painting that it is very complicated to follow because it has a limited amount of paintings on the canvas that would attract our attention. He used a lot of texture which makes the whole art piece look sharp and it makes it look like it is involved in the real world. In the foreground we can see the clocks which are either resting on a wooden rectangular piece or on the tree, and the ground seems muddy. On the middle ground, the ground’s colour starts to become lighter, and the ground in the background seems like it is a sand colour which is even lighter. This gives a deepness in the painting and as there is no sign of this painting ever stopping, demonstrating that time always keeps going and never stops.