The Persistence of Memory

The Persistance of Memory by DaliSurrealists appreciated Dali for his ‘Paranoiac critical method’ of accessing the subconscious as greater artistic creativity. Dali’s most famous work is ‘The Persistence of Memory’ (1931), sometimes called Soft Watches or Melting Clocks. The work introduced the surrealistic image of soft, melting pocket watches.

The general interpretation of Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’ is that soft watches debunk the assumption that time is rigid and deterministic and this is supported by other images in that work like the wide landscaping, the ants and the fly that devour the other watches.

Dali, as he explained inspired himself on camembert cheese to Saint the watches in the painting. He said that these watches were “tender, extravagant, solitary and paranoid“. Watches, just like memory, softened with the pass of time. Dali once said about the painting: “Just as I am surprised that a bank employee has never eaten a check, I am equally surprised that no other painter before me thought about painting a soft watch”.

This painting has historical significance in surrealism and is an icon within the genre. It explains the creativity and expresses the time and space between real life and the imaginary life very clearly. Dali’s painting ‘The Persistence of Memory’ illustrates clearly the style of surrealism which could not be conveyed in words. This is a painting which has brought out the actual essence of time and what makes it perfect is that it is something for which you can never find the right words.

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