Swans reflected in elephants, Salvador Dali, 1937
- Posted by Salvador Dali
- Museum: Private collection
- Year: 1937
Overview of the painting :
Swans reflected in elephants – Salvador Dali. 1937. Oil on canvas. 51 x 77 cm
Any reflection is an antipode. It is not surprising that the symbols of grace and elegance in their reflection turn into their opposite in essence, similar in shape. Mirror surface – access to another world, the world is the opposite. Turning over the work, we find absolutely identical images.
In all elegance there is a certain proportion of gross axle. Opposites flowing into each other are nothing but life perceived by people.
The great idea of equilibrium in nature is refracted in fantasies and hallucinations. When the subconscious works, it is difficult to decipher the images and details with which the body transmits information from the unrecognized world of intuition. A fantastic creature standing still on the shore, as if admiring itself, finding a resemblance to swans and elephants at the same time. The whole composition is like a mysterious phantom arising behind the back of any person. Here and there: the revelry of subconscious images that materialized in the real world in an unknown way. A person is busy with reflection, from does not see everything that is behind him.
The origins of the artist’s imagination are intricate, they fascinate the viewer, who will recognize in them his most inexplicable fears, dreams, dreams, complexes. The public is not waiting for clarification. She is fascinated by the atmosphere of anxious expectation of new transformations, new fantasies. Clouds floating in the sky, after a moment, also deform, giving birth to the most fantastic forms.
The tension in the picture gives rise to the appearance of dry trees on an islet, fire sliding to the water edge, a transparent moon manifested in the sky. Everything is shaky, unstable, illusory.
What happens if a person turns around? Everything will disappear, melt, disappear… This outcome seems to be the best. At the same time, the question is born: and if it does not disappear? Fear of breaking the line between fantasy and reality, between hallucination and optical deception. Fear of madness…
Swans and elephants are opposites that cannot exist without each other, complementing each other. As good and evil, as beauty and disgrace, they only make sense in a couple. For one they are not, because they cannot be evaluated, compared, perceived.
The man in the picture is calm. His fantasies doze off without interfering with living in reality.
The landscape in the background is not lifeless, as is often the case with the author. Species of buildings, fortresses, fortifications. A boat floats in the distance. These real anchors hold hallucinations, do not give them the opportunity to take possession of the whole consciousness. They leave hope that very soon everything will be solved, placed in a frame, enclosed in a reasonable shell.
The blue sky will clear itself of clouds, frightening images will fall into hundreds of clear and understandable details. All this for a short time, until the next time. Unidentified periodically checks consciousness for strength, for communication with reality. Real and unreal constantly in conflict, in the struggle. The outcome of this struggle cannot be predicted. This is the main idea of work.
The author masterfully conveys the texture of water surface. In the picture, the sky-blue color is opposed to gray-brown gamma. The compositionally central story group is enclosed in a framework that concentrates the attention of the viewer, forcing him to carefully study the plot searches of the master.