Salvador Dali: The Father of Surrealistic Art
In the history of art, most people could easily argue that Salvador Dalí is the father of surrealistic art. “Surrealism is the stressing of subconscious or irrational significance of imagery arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtaposition, dreamlike figurines and etc.” (Dictionary.com) In more common terms, surrealism is the art of writing or painting unreal or unpredictable works of art using the images or words from the imaginary world. Dalí interprets the idea of surreal art in most, if not all, of his works of art. Not only does he interpret surrealism in the majority of his pieces, he paints with his heart on the brush in all of his paintings. Any viewer would look as his work and let one thousand words flow. That being said, Salvador Dalí is the greatest surreal artist to live.
Dalí’s art is the definition of surrealism. Throughout his art he clearly elaborates on juxtaposition (putting similar images near each other), the disposition (changing the shape of an object), and morphing of objects (ranging from melted objects dripping, to crutches holding distorted figures, to women with a head of a bouquet of flowers) (Goff 5).
Dalí would transform orbs of mysterious matter and flying snakes into the bust of a woman, as done in his piece Galatea of the Spheres. His genius use of juxtaposition in art is one of the many elements that define him as the father of surrealism (Goff 95). His painting Daddy Longlegs of the Evening-Hope! is a good example of his technique of melting objects by drooping images of a human body, attempting to play a disfigured cello, over a tree branch (Goff 82).
Surrealism is the stressing of subconscious or irrational significance of imagery (Dictionary.com), or in more simplistic terms, the use of dreamlike imagery. Dalí’s absurd imagination has him painting pictures of figures no man would even dream of creating. One may believe him to be a lunatic, judging his usage of dreamlike figures throughout his art, but many may consider it genius. The distortion on the figures that are often made into other figures is the best exemplar of surrealism. Dalí often creates new images that are nonexistent to mankind stressing his knowledge and skill on creating surrealistic art.
Any great artist knows how to move the human eye throughout their artwork when one is observing their art. Dalí knows just how to do that with not just colors, but his repetition and morphing of figures throughout his art. Dalí is infamous for cutting blocks out of figures and placing the missing pieces in totally different places in his art. Dalí’s art is similar to looking through a Pictionary game, discovering all the hidden secrets in his paintings. Something many may notice in his art is the repetition of figures through his art but changing them around to look like a new figure has been born. One good example would be in his painting Swans Reflecting Elephant where he reflects the swans in a lake and changing them slightly to look like elephants, pretty explanatory in the name (Goff 78-79).
Dalí also develops new techniques such as double images and drawers (Goff 69). The double images that he uses in his art stress his ideas of moving the eyes. He’d take two different images in symbolic clusters that come in and out of focus depending on how you look at the image. His other favorite technique drawers are used frequently through his painting. Drawers are often used in human figures transforming them into furniture. One good example of this would be in his painting The Burning Giraffe (Goff 70).
No matter how realistic or well done a piece is, the best pieces are always the ones that reflect personal feelings. Humans are naturally social people that communicate with each other verbally, physically, mentally and emotionally. If a work of art lacks all of the above, then it’s a dead piece of art that isn’t as appealing to the eye. When humans can sympathize with a piece of art, it makes the work all the more great. Dalí portrays his emotions well throughout his paintings in almost any painting he does. Anyone can look at his paintings and tell what his relative mood was while painting the picture.
One catastrophic event in Dalí’s life that is a turning point in his art is the death of his mother on February 6, 1921. The death of his mother causes him to change his styles from painting portraits and landscapes to borrowing many other styles and began reflecting his tormented soul (Goff 20). His love for his wife is also portrayed in his painting Galarina. His feelings of depression led him to painting gloomy pictures. Although many might not know how to sympathize with the emotions Dalí expresses in his art, those who do could probably come to an understanding of his feelings often being expressed in his paintings.
In all of Dalí’s works he clearly defines the idea of surrealism art. All of his art could be a good exemplar of surreal art. Dalí’s art could and probably has inspired many modern day artists including myself. All of these aspects make him the father of surreal art.