It is said that many artists work from their minds, imaginations, and dreams. Salvador Dali is perhaps one of the best known “dream artists.” His surrealist artworks, which are found in top museums across the world, depict subject matter that is said to have come from Dali’s dreams. As with other surrealist artists, Dali’s works often don’t make sense in this world. You dreamers out there will relate to this idea. Have you ever had a dream where there were logical and spatial inconsistencies that you simply didn’t question. I remember I once had a dream that I was being chased by a dinosaur on a unicycle and suddenly was sitting at dinner with my family. I didn’t bat an eye because in dreams logic is internal to the dream. Dali’s work exists in a similar plane of being.
Not only is Dali’s subject matter the result of inspiration derived from dreams, but art historians note that much of Dali’s interest came from a study of Freud’s dream symbology. One of his most famous dream-inspired images is called, “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening.” In the work we see the transformation of images into other images, figures that could not exist in waking life along with situations and circumstances that could not exist in waking life. All in all, the painting certainly does seem the product of a dream.
Dali notes of his work that his painting 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 night 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 f the bee here provokes the sensation of the sting which will awaken Gala.”
Have you seen or made yourself artwork inspired by your own dreams? Art is actually a wonderful way to process and record dreams that might otherwise be difficult to describe in words.