Metamorphosis of Narcissus’ by Salvador Dalí; ‘Painting’ by Joan Miró:
The Interpretation of the Spectacle
Among the art preserved inside the Poetry and Dream exhibit of London’s own ‘Tate Modern’ there are two paintings. ‘Painting’ by Joan Miro and ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’’ by Salvador Dalí. One, holds visual complexity over the simplistic design of the other. Yet neither is more essential than the other while understanding the concepts of Surrealist Theory.
“Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.”- Salvador Dali
The Interpretation of art is a ruthless search for the understanding of an artist’s intentions. The beauty of surrealist art is that the Interpretation of an artist’s design often says more about the mind of the viewer than the artist behind the work.
The simplicity of ‘Painting’ is what I became fascinated with. The combination of familiar shapes and black lines, left nothing else to consider. No technique to evaluate, no groundbreaking medium, simply lines and shapes displayed by familiar colors. This simplicity left me with nothing but time to evaluate the complexity of Miró’s thoughts while he layered paint in the foreground. I see a dog, alert and focused, below him the crooked smile, one thin crisp line to tie it together. The circle at the top separating two colored dots. To the right, a comet launching itself into the sky. None of my ideas and interpretations can be proven of course and that is the beauty of this painting. With an unknown purpose there are endless answers. I cannot help but enjoy the sight of this painting. It does not intimidated my potential artistic pursuits and each time I see it I view it in a new light based on my most recent experiences.
‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’’ by Salvador Dalí separates itself from the ‘Painting’ through sheer complexity. The parallel provided in the painting between Narcissus and the hand gives an opportunity to start the analysis of Dali’s vision. This has a more obvious meaning than the ‘Painting’. The rock face and its reflection in the water seem to split the painting through the middle. Recurring images symbolizing death rely a dark message along with the contrast and basic color template. Life is not completely gone however, the flower from the egg shines as a beacon in the otherwise lifeless unforgiving landscape. The complexity of this painting intrigues me. It is detailed yet still provides only more questions than answers.
I enjoy these two paintings because they are nothing alike aside from their ability to force the subconscious to the surface.
“Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums.”- Salvador Dali
The Interpretation, is without a doubt, a temporary moment in the Spectacle.