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Inspired by Dali

“My only ambition is to materialize with the most imperialist rage of precision the images of concrete irrationality." Salvador Dalí defined his artistic project with these words. In order to achieve this, Dalí sought to provoke a state of exaltation that would free his creative activity and produce what he called “hand-painted photographs of dreams."

The surrealist artist was influenced by Cubism and Dadaism, and his encounter with Pablo Picasso in Paris. Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades also inspired him, as mundane objects turned into art solely on the artist's decision. He extended this concept by associating multiple, unrelated objects in his own surrealist artworks.

Dalí was also fascinated with Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, published in 1920, which defined gravity as a deformation of space and time. He drew inspiration from Einstein's theory to create his iconic artwork Persistence of Memory. The surrealist painting is an artistic illustration of the literal translation of time and its deformation. 

In this whimsical artwork, the viewer dives into Dalí's strange and dreamlike world. At first, the viewer only sees a large deserted scene, until he starts noticing details on the foreground, perhaps some of Dalí's motifs, ants, bacon, and particularly the famous “melting" clocks. By suggesting that metallic watches can melt and soften, Dalí questions our perception of the physical world and of time. In a broader sense, the artwork also evokes the eventuality of death; these watches, although they do not indicate the same time, remind us that every minute in an individual's life slowly approaches them closer to death.

Dalí's art, as well as his extravagance, and eccentric moustache have become emblematic of Surrealism. This movement, born in Paris at the beginning of the 1920s, was created by the French avant-garde poets André Breton and Louis Aragon. Surrealism became one of the most influential European artistic movements of the 20th century, branching off into surrealist photography, painting and sculpture. Many of the artists who took part in the movement believed that by unleashing the subconscious, it would reconcile the mind with the conscious. As a result, humanity would go beyond the diktats of logic and rationality. 

Many were influenced by Sigmund Freud's ideas, for whom dream analysis provided insight into the subconscious, shedding light on repressed memories and desires. According to Freud, art and modern painting were therefore capable of freeing one's psyche, usually haunted by concerns such as sex, death, violence, impulsions, fear, eroticism.

Like René Magritte, Salvador Dalí is linked to a specific form of Surrealism, associated with dreams. These surrealist artists often used traditional techniques to depict their dream or nightmares. Dalí's first solo show in 1929 featured hallucinatory artworks that explored his phobias, his perversions and his desires. 

The influence of this surrealist master is still present among contemporary artists today. For example, Jeff Koons has paid a double tribute to the artist with his Lobster's bent moustaches and by evoking one of his artworks with the Lobster Phone. Fortunately, he is far from being the only artist inspired by the eccentric and provocative surrealist painter. 

In this selection, Artsper dives into the mysterious universes of some of our most talented artists, all marked by the Spanish painter's extravagant œuvre.

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Sorry, we cant take your call right now, Vava Venezia

Sorry, we cant take your call right now

Vava Venezia

Print - 17.7 x 25.6 x 0.4 inch


Ecoutez le bruissement des racines, Pierre Golvan

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Pierre Golvan

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Le temps qui passe au Musée d'Orsay, Vladimir Bazan

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Waiting for the birds, Sean MacLeod

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Sean MacLeod

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Salvatore, PyB



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N°1482 une mémoire d’éléphant, Georges Saulterre

N°1482 une mémoire d’éléphant

Georges Saulterre

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Sculpture origin Dali Montre Mole, Spiktri

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Sculpture tête de mort OSS Dali Perrier, Spiktri

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Samson et Dalila des "Amants Célèbres", André Masson

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André Masson

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Esculmau 53 - Esculmau 53 Crème bisou Doré, Arson

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Dusking Time, Sphere, Holly King

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