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Monthly Masters DiscussionMonthly Masters' Discussion - September 2019 - Can Surrealism Inform Photography? Dali's Melting Clocks

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Monthly Masters' Discussion - September 2019 - Can Surrealism Inform Photography? Dali's Melting Clocks

Post by minniev »

This month we will look at a painting by Salvatore Dali, one of the masters of surrealism in art. Dalí was born on in 1904 in Figueres, Spain. From an early age he was encouraged to practice his art, and he would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid. In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí's Surrealist phase. Dalí was formally expelled from the Surrealist movement for political reasons but continued his work and amassed a body of work in a wide array of art media. Though chiefly remembered for his painterly output, in the course of his long career he successfully turned to sculpture, printmaking, fashion, advertising, writing, and, perhaps most famously, filmmaking in his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. He died in Figueres in 1989.

He is perhaps best known for his 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting. (I was fortunate to stumble upon his sculpture of the melting clocks last week in Andorra, though I confess I didn’t know the sculpture version existed till then.)

Look over the painting, review some of the links below, and share with us your critical opinion about The Persistence of Memory.

Question to Consider

1. What is your opinion about the painting? The composition? The color? Does it evoke emotion? Would you want it on your wall? Why or why not?
2. What do you make of the symbolism presented in this image? What do the melting clocks mean? What does the title mean? What do you make of the distorted man on the ground?
3. Do you think an understanding of surrealism informs photographic art in any way? Why or why not? Are there any photographic artists who you think may have been influenced by the surrealist approach to art? If you know of one, share the name or link.
4. Have you ever taken or created an image that you think reflected a surrealistic approach? If so, we hope you’ll share it in your response.

Links for further study ... _of_Memory ... ador-dali/
fair use:
fair use:
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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