Salvador Dali was a famous Spanish surrealist artist born in 1904 at a place called Figueres, Catalonia in Spain Republic (Fanés, 2007). As a skillful drafter, Dali was best recognized for inexplicable and striking paintings in his surrealist work of arts. According to some artists, Dali’s painting skills are frequently related to the cultural movements such as renaissance and surrealism (Ross, 2003). In addition, having studied in various different parts of Spain, Salvador emerged mastered adjusting to different styles of art into his catalogue effortlessly. In his youthful age, Salvador became captivated with the concepts and ideals of Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist who set up the psychoanalysis discipline (Descharnes & Néret, 2001). Many of Salvador’s artworks had an association with the subconscious mind. This made him concentrate overly on work of art such as painting. An analysis of Dali’s work of art will frequently reveal that he was mindful of the message conveyed by paintings to the viewers. Similar to other artist, Salvador Dali used art to express his views and communicate to viewers. In light of this, the paper relates Salvador’s work of art to his time of existence of his livelihood.
According to Vleminck & Dorfman (2011), the Persistence of Memory is an artwork that relates well to Salvador’s life. This work of art is among Dali’s most popular works. Dali completed this artwork in 1931. This implies that the period of this artwork has some links to the period of existence of famous people such as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Albert and Sigmund lived to see the 20th century. Einstein existed from 1879 to 1955, whereas Sigmund existed from 1856 to 1939 (Ross, 2003). The basic interpretation of this work of art is as follows. The representation of flabby pocket watches in The Persistence Memory indicates the inappropriateness of time during sleep (Fanés, 2007). This infers that time stops when an individual is unconscious, or asleep, but memories persist. The portrayal of time is observable in individuals attempting to think about their own dreams. According to some historian artists, this artwork is visual portrayal of the idea behind Einstein’s theory of relativity. The theory asserts that time not fixed but relative. The interpretation of this painting also strongly puts forward the psychoanalytical values that relate to Sigmund’s research (Perez, 2008). Some artists have disputed the relation of the interpretation to Einstein’s theory because Dali did not have an interest in science before World War II.
Descharnes & Néret (2001) affirm that Dali’s affiliation with the surrealists had some effects on his life. The first notable effect is the soar relationship between him and his father. Don Salvador, his father, strongly disapproved Dali’s love for Gala, future wife, hence bringing their relationship close to a breakup (Fanés, 2007). Don also viewed the connection with the surrealist as a negative moral influence. The relationship between Salvador and his father appears to have ended when Dali exhibited a drawing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ with an offensive caption (Fanés, 2007). Salvador declined to recant publicly since he would face expulsion from the Surrealist group. As a result, Salvador had to separate with his father. From this perspective, Dali’s artwork had influenced his life by prompting him decide on his career or maintain the relationship.
Salvador’s work of art called The Burning Giraffe has some relationship to the World War II (Fanés, 2007). The setting for the artwork is an early evening atmosphere having a marina blue sky. The painting portrays two females; one has drawers jutting out of her right leg. The two females have phallic objects attached to their backs. These objects receive support from what seems to be chain crutches (Descharnes & Néret, 2001). The female having drawers appear to be stripped down revealing her muscle tissues. The second female seems to be holding a piece of muscle tissue suspected to have come from the other female. A burning giraffe is also visible from a distance. Additionally, the two female appear to be wondering off into the vast and empty world, showing no concern to the giraffe on fire. The image of the burning giraffe is also visible in Dali’s film known as The Golden Age and The Invention of Monsters, which is a painting artwork (Fanés, 2007). According to Dali, this image was a premonition of the Second World War. The interpretation of this painting has some relationship to psychology. Salvador pointed out that Sigmund Freud is the only dissimilarity between his era and the immortal Greece (Descharnes & Néret, 2001). The jutting drawers represent the secrets that make the human body and mind. These secrets can only be opened through psychoanalysis discovered by Sigmund Freud. Salvador completed this artwork in 1937, five years before the Second World War that took place during his life.
Majority of Salvador’s paintings, including The Burning Giraffe, have women in them. Some artists perceive the female images to be Dali’s wife, Gala (Ross, 2003). This interpretation has some association to Dali’s love for Gala. Quite a number of paintings have women who appear deformed or stripped down. This might relate to how he perceived his relationship with Gala. Their relationship seems to have been incredible as indicated by a book called The Lives of the Muses (Cole, 2011). This book explains the relationship of nine women and their artist husbands or lovers, including Salvador Dali. Dali had nothing to hide in his life and that might depict why he had stripped women in his painting. The representation of stripped down women might also reveal that Salvador and Gala had nothing to hide in their lives as a couple (Cole, 2011). Additionally, many of Salvador’s paintings have objects that have hidden meanings. Sigmund’s research of psychoanalysis might reveal that the women in the painting show the relationship Salvador had with his mother. With regard to the relationship with his mother, stripped women might also indicate how the relationship was stripped down to nothing (Vleminck & Dorfman, 2011).
Another Dali’s work of art that has a relationship to his time of existence is called The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory exhibited in New York in 1954 (Ross, 2003). This artwork belongs to the Salvador’s famous collection of 1931. The original painting shows a water-flooded landscape. In this painting, disintegration refers to what is happening both below and above the surface of the water. The water-flooded landscape represents Cadaqués, a town in Catalonia that floats above the water. This painting shows the plane and block divided into shapes similar to bricks (Fanés, 2007). These shapes have nothing binding them and float in relation to each other. Historian artists interpret these as the breakdown of matter. An olive tree having a soft watch hanged on it is also visible, and the tree appears to be breaking apart. The hands of the soft watch appear to be floating above the dials. A distorted human face from the original painting begins to transform into a fish. According to Dali, the fish signified life. This painting shows Salvador’s interest in science, especially nuclear physics (Cole, 2011). The atomic bomb explosion of 1945 during the final stages of the Second World War might have prompted him to use painting skills to explain the science behind bombs. Dali recognized that matter comprised of atoms disjointed atoms that are represented as blocks in the painting. The blocks in the painting are suspended and not touching each other as in the case of matter (Cole, 2011). This marked the dawn of quantum physics, which states that matter exists as particles and waves. This image appears to relate to Einstein’s theory of relativity, but Dali strongly opposed the connection. This is because they both symbolize the changing of space-time by gravity.
Dali’s artwork called The Enigma of Hitler shows that he lived in times of Dictator Hitler, who lived from 1889 to 1945 (Descharnes & Néret, 2001). However, this artwork contributed to his dismissal from Surrealist group. Dali developed an interest in Hitler during the early 1930s. Surrealist viewed this as an obsession and an evidence of political beliefs. According to Dali, The Enigma of Hitler was a premonition of various dreams about Hitler. One such a dream is showed Neville Chamberlain’s Umbrella transforming into a bat. According Dali, this symbolized fear in Neville Chamberlain from his childhood. The telephone mouthpiece having lobster claws signified the onset of war (Perez, 2008). The hanging of the telephone from a mutilated branch symbolizes the end of hope. This artwork reveals that Salvador Dali lived during times of dictatorship.
In conclusion, almost all Salvador’s artworks had an association with the subconscious mind. Some Salvador’s paintings had women in them perceived to be the images of Dali’s wife, Gala. Some of Dali’s artworks such as The Burning Giraffe and The Enigma of Hitler are a premonition of events such as the Second World War. Dali’s painting artwork influenced and reflected his life. The soar relationship with his father reflects how far Dali would risk his career. The stripped down females in his paintings also reflect the honesty in his relationship with Gala.