As mentioned in a previous post about inspiring artwork, i’ll post about some wellknown and unknown artists, which inspired and influenced me a lot.
Today i’ll talk about Salvador Dali, one of the most important painters of the 20th century. His symbolism employed in a extensive way in his work.
The elephant is a recurring image in many of Dali’s works, appearing first in his 1944 work Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The elephants, inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculpture base in Rome of an elephant to carry an ancient obelisk, are portrayed “with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire”along with obelisks on their backs. Coupled with the image of their brittle legs, these encumbrances, noted for their phallic overtones, create a sense of phantom reality. “The elephant is a distortion in space,” one analysis explains, “its spindly legs contrasting the idea of weightlessness with structure.
“…I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly.
— Salvador Dali, in Dawn Ades, Dali and Surrealism.
Although Salvador Dali is considered as the greatest artist of the surrealist art movement, his personality caused a lot of controversy during his lifetime: the public got a picture of an excentric paranoid.