Art vlogger James Payne of Great Art Explained takes a look at the Salvador Dali painting The Persistence of Memory. Payne notes how the artist was influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud and his theories of subconscious mind at work while dreaming. Dalí’s use of a dreamlike fantasy incorporating his own insecurities, according to Payne, is revealed in this iconic work of art.
Despite its huge cultural impact, it is quite small. About the size of a sheet of paper. Dali plays with a perception of scale, and presents a huge desert landscape with vast depths of field, reduced to a shrunken world. …One thing is clear, Time, like the watches is fluid…”The Persistence of Memory” IS about the fluidity of memory, dreams, and time – but the melting watches, the dead tree, and the parasitic insects, all point to Dali’s obsession with death and decay.