Salvador Dali Critique

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Grant Metts
Mr. Walter
Journal Critique
There have been many skilled artists that have been able to create beautiful pieces. However there are others who are able to create a work of art that is so interesting that it is able to catch the viewer in its world and captivate them into looking at the piece for a long period of time. One of these works is the Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali.

This piece is composed of desert landscape scenery with a few clocks melting over the landscape. One is hung over a dead tree branch, another is draped over what appears to be a portion of a human face that is rising out of the ground, and a pocket watch is sitting on a ledge beside the tree, covered in ants. In the background of the piece there appears to be a metallic looking lake with a rocky hill rising out of the water.

This piece is extremely surreal. There is no real discernable meaning behind Dali’s work. One could suggest that Dali simply wanted to portray something that was entirely private to his subconscious. In all honesty, the only one who could explain the purpose of the items in the piece is Dali himself. This makes sense because Dali’s art movement intended to capture the subconscious in a psychodynamic way without expressing or picturing anything in particular. Where the appeal in this piece comes from is in its strangeness. The way Dali was able to portray the surreal and strange excites something very basic in our human curiosity. As a result, the casual onlooker is often drawn to this fantasy world of a painting in order to sate this nagging curiosity that we all have.

On a personal level, this piece has always fascinated me. I usually like pieces of art that use symbolism and can be interpreted and I usually am not particularly fond of paintings for simple aesthetics. However this piece has something mysterious about it that makes me want to look at it again and again. This is Dali’s genius ability to portray the strange...
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