Salvador Dali And M.C. Escher Essay, Research Paper
The artists that I am comparing in my paper come from two different backgrounds, yet in some ways, the deep psychological and philosophical message that their works reflect, together with their shared fascination with the insect-world, bring them together.
Salvador Dali, a poor farmer?s son (1904-1989) was born in Spain, and throughout his childhood, according to him, he was treated like royalty by his parents because they thought he was the incarnation of his dead brother, who died nine months before he was born. This treatment by his parents constantly reminded him of death and soon, he developed into a personality who lived in his own world and reality. Dali, throughout his career, went through harsh periods. He was expelled from his art school, expelled from the surrealist movement, was also kicked out of his father?s house by his father and had to move to a different country because of the war in Europe. All of these stages had an impact on Dali and they all reflect in his art, where he mostly draws decaying corpses, disturbing images and insects. He later developed a theory known as ?paranoiac- critical? method to enter alternative method of reality. Later, He also drifted in his own path going away from the surrealism and developed his own surrealist trademark, totally different from the works of the surrealists of that time and his work were often branded as ?Dalism?.
My next artist is Maurits C. Escher (1898-1972) who was born a civil engineer?s son in Holland. Because of his father?s influence, he enrolled in an architectural school but later, his emphasis changed from architecture to drawing and printmaking. He is known for his enigmatic spatial effects by combining various?often conflicting vantage points, for example, looking up and down at the same time. Like Dali, because of the war, he also had to move to various countries, which also had an impact on his subject matter. His interests in creating buildings in his works slowly eroded when he started getting fascinated with the insect-world. He then developed a new theme in work, which he termed ?metamorphosis?, where one shape turns into something completely different– just like a caterpillar evolves into a butterfly.
I have to say Dali?s ?The persistence memory? (oil on canvas) and Escher?s ?Eye? (Mezzotint), give me the same scary chills when I look at them. With the ?almost fluid? watches, the distorted fetus, the fly and the ants on the watches, together with the skull staring at Escher?s ?Eye?, somehow give me an unpleasant feeling and remind me of death. They are appealing too because, both the artists have made their work more dramatic through the treatment of light using contrasts of light and dark, and both come with hidden messages and sensitive strings that reflect all the suppressed mentality behind the artists? inspirations. They leave it all to the viewer to decipher their message. This may be one of the reasons why the pieces hold an important place in art history. The works of Dali and Escher certainly carry deep questions about how we see the world around us. Both of them express precise realism and ?out of the world fantasy? at the same time.
The present day artists and their art have certainly been influenced by M.C. Escher, an observationist, who was fascinated in the detail and also by Salvador Dali, a thinker, who manipulated detail