Why are Memories so Persistent—Frozen in Time?

Why Girl was at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York.

She turned the corner, and there it was: Salvador Dalí’s famous surrealist oil on canvas—The Persistence of Memory (1931)


What an amazing sight to see such surrealistic power on such a small scale, dimensions:9 1/2 x 13″ (24.1 x 33 cm)


Time is the theme here, from the melting watches to the decay implied by the swarming ants. The monstrous fleshy creature draped across the paintings center is an approximation of Dalís own face in profile. Mastering what he called “the usual paralyzing tricks of eye-fooling,” Dalí painted this work with “the most imperialist fury of precision,” but only, he said, “to systematize confusion and thus to help discredit completely the world of reality.” There is, however, a nod to the real: The distant golden cliffs are those on the coast of Catalonia, Dalís home.

What do memories mean to you?

Are they real?

Half forgotten?

Distorted by time?

Are they somewhat fabricated?



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