Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening depicts tranquil and peaceful scenery–a calm sea with a beautifully painted sky just before sunrise. Amongst this peace is the chaotic image one initially sees.

Dali offered a small explanation to his painting from 1944 in 1962:

“[It was intended] to express for the first time in images Freud’s discovery of the typical dream with a lengthy narrative, the consequence of the instantaneousness of a chance event which causes the sleeper to wake up. Thus, as a bar might fall on the neck of a sleeping person, causing them to wake up and for a long dream to end with the guillotine blade falling on them, the noise of the bee here provokes the sensation of the sting which will awaken Gala.”

A pomegranate usually symbolizes fertility from which, in the painting, sprouts a fish which spews a tiger followed by another tiger. The tigers are thought to symbolize a bee’s body because they are yellow with black stripes. The bayonet which is next to the body of the woman symbolizes the bee’s sting, which Dali mentions in his explanation; it is the bayonet that will awaken the woman, Gala, from her otherwise peaceful sleep (Freud’s Influence). The elephant in the painting is simply a distorted version of Bernini’s Elefantino sculpture in Rome carrying an obelisk.

The pomegranate between the two floating droplets of water is thought to symbolize Venus because the shadow it casts is that of a heart-shaped shadow, but it could also symbolize fertility as mentioned above. A bee in a painting usually symbolizes the Virgin. It may be that the tigers are going to attack the woman, who is their mother, but just before this happens, the bayonet, the stinger, is there to wake her (Zuk & Zuk).

Photo Courtesy of The Official Blog of Park West Gallery


November 20, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Galatea of the Spheres (1952)

Galatea of the Spheres (1952)

This painting shows the woman, who is Dali’s wife, with a serene and elegant look on her face, yet she is decimating into hundreds of circular spheres, or “fragile atomic particles,” which will ultimately end up all over the universe. Some attribute Dali’s use of the spheres to his love and fascination with nuclear physics later in his life. The way her hair appears to still be attached to her head, yet it is still blowing and waving around, makes the painting ever more relaxing. Along with the blending and smearing of colors, her hair and his technique increases the effects of the spheres and their movement, helping Dali establish an environment in motion. The colors of the sky and, what seems like the sea, increases the peacefulness of the painting and creates a nice background for the fairness of her skin. The focus of the painting is clearly Gala, but the distribution of the colors allows the eye to move all over the central theme of the painting.

3D Animation of Galatea of the Spheres shows just how complicated this work was and really exemplifies Dali’s artistic capability and creativity.

Photo courtesy of NaderLibrary.com

November 20, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus (1959)

The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus (1959)

This Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus is considered to be one of Dali’s masterworks that he worked on between 1958 and 1959 and was his largest painting up to that point (Cardona & Carter). He takes the known history of how America was discovered and gives it an almost dreamlike quality. Columbus, or “the dreamer” in this painting, is wrapped in a white, flowing robe, and he appears to be a young boy as opposed to the middle-aged sailor we are familiar with. He is also surrounded by divine beings in the scene. Dali symbolically portrays Columbus, in the painting, as the harbinger of Christianity to the New World by painting him at the moment just before he takes his first steps on the New Land.

Dali incorporated himself into the painting as a monk holding a crucifix, and Columbus is holding a banner with the face of Gala, his wife, as the Virgin Mary. The ship and all that is behind Columbus is surrounded by the clouds. One can see the waves from the ocean, but they seem to be overcome by the clouds. The swirl of clouds at the center of the top of the painting appears to be the source of the “divine” part of the painting. It seems vortex-like, yet calm at the same time, and the blue and white colors create a sense of unity throughout the painting.

Columbus is important to Dali because at the time, people believed that Columbus was Catalonian, not Italian, and Dali comes from Catalonia in Figueres, Spain. The lower left figure is that of the Catalan Saint Narciso. The painting is also influenced by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez in terms of theme and color. Velázquez also influenced Dali when it came to his moustache.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

November 20, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Persistence of Memory (1931)





The Persistence of Memory contains a variety of devices which “deny the primacy of formal composition and abstraction” (Salcman). The colors he uses, the “sour greens and yellows” reflect chromolithographs, which was the most common way to print in the nineteenth century. The contrast created in using these colors allows for the viewer to notice the dismal difference in painting between the figure and the ground it is laying on and nature around this figure. The figure results in looking lifeless and limp.

In the painting, Dali recreates the forms and physical appearances of objects we commonly know. For example, watches tend to be hard, but in his painting, they appear soft and melting. The person on the ground, too, which is “softened like a jellyfish thrown up on the shore, is the same size as the cliffs in the distance” (Salcman). Our perceptions in the painting are completely distorted. Dali attempted to “discredit completely the world of reality” by taking his face and making it the center of the painting. Dali’s face is the figure in the middle on the ground, his tongue hanging outside his mouth, protruding from his inanimate moustache. Dali himself described these three images as “nothing more than the soft, extravagant, solitary, paranoic-critical Camembert cheese of space and time.” The ants and insects imply decay and death. The question is what is he saying about time? Dali, at this time, did not particularly care for space and time; he was uninterested in these matters. He painted The Persistence of Memory after having dinner one night and observing a Camembert melting on a tabletop. Nevertheless, his famous melting watches became incredibly popular after people realized that one could forget and ignore time, that sometimes, time is insignificant; in his painting, each watch is stopped at a different time.

Photo courtesy of Shelley Esaak

November 20, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Sleep (1937)


Dali’s Sleep is a completely fascinating painting. Surrealists believed you could tap into the subconscious mind and the freedom it experiences while dreaming and use this in one’s art. When Dali painted this, he used the same ideology and attempted to capture the typical dreamscape onto his canvas.

In order to add emphasis to the head, Dali enlarged it to a colossal size. He set the painting against a deep blue sky fading into a pale yellow land to contrast the background with the central theme of the painting, the head, which is a bold yellow. The distorted head appears fragile, held by crutches, and the eyes are shut, deep in sleep. Dali implies that without the crutches, the head would not be able to stand. Therefore, gravity is still in play, even in dreams, and if the crutches were removed, the head would fall. Thus, Dali exemplifies the feeling that we are falling in his painting. It is also important to observe that the serenity yet strangeness of the painting is also achieved through the lack of a neck as we know it; instead, the neck is stretched out and limply hangs from one of the wooden crutches. Dali creates a sense of rhythm by using several crutches to support the head rather than just one. The crutches are positioned strategically, making the painting “balanced and harmonic–suggesting continuity between the dream (represented by the sleepy head) and the reality (represented by the crutches)” (Gadish). Dali produces a 3D-like atmosphere by placing the large head in the center/front of the painting, the castle on the right and the dog on the left.

Photo courtesy of FDW

November 20, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


My checkpoint 3 will be a hybrid of the blog and media presentation. I plan on analyzing the artwork of a specific artist, most likely Van Gogh; however, I am also considering Michelangelo, Picasso and a few other artists. The blog posts will analyze specific pieces of art work they have created. I have not decided if my presentation will be about the artist’s life, their works as a whole, or maybe both. This will be interesting to write about, especially because I love art. I find it fascinating to be able to analyze the way a person chooses, or maybe does not choose, to display their perspective on the world and show off their own personal style. You can distinguish certain artists and identify them by their “artistic fingerprints.” This to me is the best part because I feel like I have gotten to know and understand these incredible people.

November 1, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


My Checkpoint 3 is a hybrid of the presentation and the blog post. I plan on making my last checkpoint more about the blog than the presentation at the moment, however, only slightly, and they will both complement one another. I will incorporate media and art mostly. I plan on using the blog posts to really analyze my idea and the presentation to give my topic depth. My thesis will be clear in the blog posts. Each blog post will be about a new, clear topic that will all relate together. The presentation will possibly be on prezi, but I have never used it before, so it will be an adventure. The blog alone will seem to be random with no real connected topic, but my presentation will hopefully clear any confusion up and really tie everything together. The form is still slightly undecided, but I think it will be made more clear once I begin.

November 1, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

A Choreographer’s Creative Process in Real Time

A Choreographer’s Creative Process in Real Time

Wayne McGregor creates an intricate phrase (routine) using the seemingly trivial word TED. He takes the word and gives it its own life. Then, he focuses in on an “aspect” of the word, say a letter, and he creates something out of it. When he explains it, you can see what he was thinking and why he is moving his arms, his legs, and his body the way he does. The phrase he creates clearly shows architectural movement related to the letter and thus, the word. He is able to give the dance dimensions, making it more in depth. He encourages the audience to make a dance if their own, and if they refuse to do so, then to “at least misbehave more beautifully more often.” I used to dance, and I have not always understood the choreography, so this video was very insightful and gave me a bit of a nice peek into the mind of a choreographer.

October 30, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Annotated Bibliography – Individual Research Proposal

Technology today has impacted schools and the education system in new ways, completely transforming it from when it first began. I propose a way to test which type of teaching/learning method is more efficient, online learning or the classic classroom environment. For a whole semester, we can take two classes, learning the exact same material and test them at the end of the semester over the exact same thing with the exact same answers. One class will learn strictly online and take an online test, while the other will learn in the classroom without any technology and take a test with pen and paper. At the end we can see which type of learning and teaching worked best for both students and teachers, and how those results could affect our educational system.

September 24, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

How Far Will We Go?

How Far Will We Go?

Eng 1103

August 30, 2012. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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