Perhaps the most famous clock artwork is that of Salvador Dali.
Almost everyone has seen his eye-catching surreal creations somewhere; clocks which appear distorted or melted, often portrayed in strange predicaments.
Dali was born in a Spanish city named Figueres in 1904. Influenced by the artist Ramon Pichot, Dali’s original work consisted mostly of charcoal drawings. After adopting a style he believed to be Cubism, Dali gained a lot of attention. Shortly after this, the handsome young Dali was expelled from the academy he attended because he felt his professors were not good enough to evaluate his work (and who knows, maybe he was right)!
Perhaps this was true; everything about Dali was artistic, including his wild handlebar mustache which he often created different designs from.
There is even a famous photo of Dali with flowers on each end of the mustache as it points skyward. Dali’s permanent influences upon his style varied from Picasso to Raphael, making his art work reflect a combination of many styles, all the while retaining the surreal image he is widely known for. His depictions of clocks have inspired clock companies to create droopy real-life replicas, which are widely sold and still fairly popular.
Dali’s most famous trend began in 1931: The Timepiece Paintings.
During this year Dali presented his first famous masterpiece titled “Persistence of Memory“. This particular piece depicted stop-watch faces which appear to have a very flimsy look; the watches look very thin with one drooped over a dead tree, another sliding off of a block and another lying on the ground. The background appears to reflect a desert-meets-sea setting. The mixture of so many mysterious objects all included in one photo along with the fact that the stop-watches were melting, seemed to create an epidemic of intrigue about Dali’s unique style.
In 1954 Dali created another very interesting and famous stop-watch work titled “ Soft Watch at Moment of First Explosion” depicting a soft stopwatch self-destructing. Flying debris is seen near the clock’s face, giving it the appearance that it’s beginning to disintegrate. Similar to “Persistence of Memory” is the background: a desert-meets-sea look is noted behind the subject. On this particular piece the stop-watch dominates most of the space, also appearing to be a flexible object sliding off of a precise blocked edge.
Around the time of the 1970s, Dali began a series of timepiece creations, all reflecting clock faces. Once again, the clock faces appear soft and flexible. “Stillness of Time“, created in 1979, depicts a gold-rimmed clock with a rather fluid appearance. The clock seems to be wearing a crown; interestingly it looks as though the clock also has tree roots and a couple of bare branches. Another piece titled “Tearful Soft Watch Giclee” depicts a delicate soft stop watch droopingly draped on a leafless tree.
One of Dali’s works titled “Clock B Giclee” is quite different from his usual timepiece depictions. This clock does not resemble a normal clock face with hands and numbers, as seen in his Soft Watch works. Instead, the same barren tree figure from various other works is portrayed dangling a very ornate clock with many different colors. Observers would need to look closely to identify the object as a clock. In addition to creating many drawings and paintings of surreal timepieces, Dali has also created several sculptures depicting the soft-looking clocks. “Horse Saddled with Time” is a sculpture of a horse with a clock face draped over its back instead of a saddle. Valued at over $10,000.00, this piece is thought to be one of his finer sculptures. “Danse Du Temp” is another sculpture by Dali. This clock sculpture is black and gold, seemingly stretched or distorted.
So by now most readers are probably wondering what the significance of the clocks found in Dali’s timepiece works is, right?
Clocks are portrayed to appear soft and thin to make the point that time is not relevant in Dali’s perspective. The first clock painting created by Dali was to reflect the state of human dreams; clocks were depicted as “slipping” because he felt that things in dreams are hard to see clearly and they are so easily forgotten. In some of his works, clocks are seen with ants or appear to be disintegrating, implying death. Through these depictions he is expressing the idea that time dies and slips away.
In the case of the “Horse Saddled With Time” sculpture, time is depicted as a burden being taken away by a quickly moving beast of burden, making the impression that time is a quickly passing burden. The lone barren tree seen often in Dali’s paintings is said to reflect either how time kills living things or how time may seem empty. However his art is perceived by the viewer is left to their individual appreciation and perspective. His work definitely has a lot of intriguing qualities; even after his death his pieces are still sold, in fact there is an online gallery featuring his work exclusively for sale.
Yes, Salvador Dali definitely left his impression on this world while he passed through it!
Two Dali museums exist dedicated to his life’s surreal creations. One museum is located in St. Petersburg, Florida and the other is located in his hometown of Figueres, Spain. This location also features some of the rare photography and films he created.
An autobiography of Dali was also penned, which is definitely worth reading. The world through Dali’s perspective is an interesting one, so readers are sure to enjoy this book. Those interested in copies of Dali’s work may easily be able to find prints in numerous places for affordable prices; original pieces may consume an entire nest egg though, as they generally tend to begin at about $20,000.00 and run upward of $300,000.000.
So, from all of us at OnlineClock.net, we salute you, Salvador Dali, for being one of the greatest creators of highly original clocks!