“ The Persistence of Memory, ” perhaps Dali’ s most widely recognized painting, is not a scene that could ever actually be seen by the human eye. Where it might be seen, at least as it occurred to Salvador Dali, was in a person’ s dreams. As a person’ s dreams are created within their mind, the subject of Dali’ s paintings could be considered to be the human mind. More specifically, as Dali considered himself to a student of Sigmund Freud, Dali explored various aspects of psychology as it related to the unconscious. The watches, ’ as Dali referred to them, are perhaps the most recognizable image from the painting, and obviously no photograph could capture them in the way that Dali captured them.
Surrealism was infused with symbolism, and the objects in the paintings were supposed to represent various aspects of the human psyche, and obviously the human psyche could not be captured with a camera. Photography cannot be entirely be considered to be responsible for Surrealism and Dali’ s soft watches, though it did influence the landscape of art and painting that Dali under. Another artist who attempted to capture images in ways that photography cannot be Pablo Picasso.
As mentioned, the history of painting followed a linear path to where representation became more realistic. When photography claimed absolute realism in representation, many artists looked too old styles of painting to gather influence. Picasso turned to old tribal African artwork for inspiration. His painting, … , can be viewed in several ways, but there is no denying that Picasso used the African artwork as a template for representation. He, too, was attempting to capture different aspect of humanity, though not attempting to use psychology and the unconscious to do so.
The women in the painting, because their faces are modeled after the African masks, appear grotesque. There is definitely symbolism that is being utilized here too, but not in the same way.
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