The Persistence of Memory

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Alyssa Hankins
Art 1300 Section 001
9-29-11
The Persistence of Memory

Spain, 1931, Salvador Dali creates an abstract oil on canvas portrayal or the knowledge that is gained through ones dreams, visions, and intuition. The Persistence of Memory, 1931 portrays an abstract view of time and visions that Dali envisioned. Perhaps, his most famous work was The Persistence of Memory, which he painted in his younger years in the 30s. The Persistence of Memory, 1931, elevates the influence of the subconscious mind through fantasy like images, color, composition, and thought provoking images. Dali uses abstract images to represent a balance of altered views, conveying what is reality and what is from the mind's eye. Note the mysterious rugged rocks in the background to the right. Dali shows a genuine, dim sort of sun set like landscape, with the rocks illuminated and projecting up in the background. In the foreground, an illusory sort of human form appears to dissolve to the ground. Separate Melting Watch images balance the focal point of the work. His use of these two elevated shapes balances the form of a tree and yet another time piece below, evoking curiosity of the meanings. Dalis’s practice of utilizing color and shading contrast also demonstrates the mystery of the entire piece. The vivacious hue of the skies flowing directly into the glassy surface of liquid gives a feeling of peacefulness in the background. The rocks are shown to reflect off the smooth top of water, seemingly as a mirror would. The contrast of this calm lies in the foreground, projecting a sense of dim, mysterious set objects along with the earth. Also, Dali uses the dark brown surface of ground fading into a lighter brown to lead the viewer towards what may appear as an image of a mortal form that has liquefied and sunk to the earth. The two silver and gold time pieces hold the entire view together. In the image, the silver piece lies on what may be the human figure along with another...
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