Salvador Dali is a very interesting painter that used an early developed delusion of grandeur as a creative force. As a surrealistic painter, the artist acts as a passive medium of the subconscious, but for Dali it was different. Dali developed an active critical and paranoid method in which he incorporates his ideas to envision specters beyond reality.
This specific painting is very dream-like with a mix of metamorphoses of various kinds. In the painting, it is hard to just interpret of what you see without a good fundament for who Dali was. Dali was a very eccentric man with what some people will claim as a lot of personal issues. Research shows that Salvador Dali was taken to his 9-month-old brother’s grave and told by his parents that he was the reincarnation of his brother that also went by the same name: Salvador. Essential points in life can change perspective and create wonders and disasters.
In this painting one can see melting pocket watches on small constructions on a huge landscape near to the beach. If I was blind and someone described this painting, I would have a very inconsistent answer for the interpretation I believe, but luckily I remember the very first time I saw this painting in real life.
My aunt’s husband bought this painting as a poster in 1998 to decorate their new apartment, and I remember asking him why he had this “picture” on his wall, and I got a really clear answer. “This is a painting by a Spanish painter called Dali, and he painted this painting of the beach of his home city with the melting pocket watches as a resemblance of non-functional time and the ants as the persistent object of time.” he told me.
For some reason, I never forgot that, and I never understood it either till I was much older. It is hard to get the literal meaning of something surrealistic made by an eccentric artist. I made my research behind this painting with what my uncle told me, and it makes so much sense. The surrealistic world presented was executed with great wealth of detail and a violent contrast between real and unreal.
To penetrate the surrealistic of the beach, Dali included the objects present to break out of the system of ideas that we constantly see and are a part of to create manifested conditions.
Later in his career, Dali created a disintegration of his painting that goes beyond the understanding of the original piece. Without saying something wrong, I believe that Dali is showing the progress of the dream life and how the beach from home town has changed over time. With disintegration I think it would not be complete off to say denaturing.
The Disintegration of Persistence of Memory (1954)