Manipulation of Surrealism

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Surrealism is the artful manipulation of dream vs. reality, where elements of both are intermingled into a unified mastery. It harnesses the subconscious dreamlike realm of the viewer and exploits a visual that is both a truer and more authentic sense of imagination. Salvador Dali, a prominent Spanish surrealist painter, successfully conveys these principles within his most widely recognized work “The Persistence of Memory”, also known as “Clocks”. This painting encompasses the presence of clocks with different times melting against the fantasy-like background of a seaside landscape. The presence of an animalistic figure lying on the sand also graces the painting. In addition, the combination of various deformed clocks placed strategically within the painting, in order to create a visual movement, highlights the manipulation of space and chronology. It is finished with a varnish of an open lonely space and an unbearable sense of quiet. By doing so, he creates a perfect simpatico of dreaming vs. time. In other words, Dali claims that time not only ceases to exists, but rather, decays within the realms of sleep and dreaming. The product remaining is the lingering of memories and illusion. Therefore, within the “Persistence of Memory”, Salvador Dali exhibits the harmonistic relationship between the absence of time and the absolute nature of dreaming by unveiling the foil of consciousness vs. unconsciousness and reality vs. imagination.
Dali utilizes the discrediting of reality as a bold aspect of “The Persistence of Memory” in order to emphasize his central theme of time. Towards the left of the painting, the audience notes an orange or bright gold watch resting on a stationary box or stand, with such vivid color that it becomes app...

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