The painting is a tribute and a branch out of the original, created by Salvador Dali La persistencia de la memoria, in 1931. Considered as the most epic depiction of Surrealism, the painting went onto inspire me not only as an artist but also on a deeper layer of tapping into the unconscious.
The emphasis of my piece, like Dali’s, is mainly on the melting clock. I have tried to create a sense of motion with the decaying of a metal clock and combined that with the presence of the ants scattered on it’s surface. The symbolism is that Time, unlike any other entity, is ever moving. Philosophically, it is considered as ever changing. We cannot hold on it and the cycle of life is dependent on it. We are born, we grow, we grow old, and finally die – decay into the earth as rightly mentioned in the King James Bible “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”.
While time passes by, and our biological clock nears its end, with each tick, we keep creating memories, consciously and unconsciously. Each second of our life, if captured on a reel, is essentially a memory. But how much and which ones, do we choose to remember? The funny ones that made a day memorable. The death of a loved one which burned a hole in our hearts. The proposal of a counterpart, or the rejections of many. Memories made are captured, but much like time, they decay. You run the same film over and over in your head, but you end up customizing each play as per your current mood. The more you try to picture the actual event, the more you can’t. Like you remember how you felt, but you don’t completely remember. You try to preserve something which is already gone. I find this feeling hauntingly beautiful – the act of persistently trying to preserve a memory, which decays over time, and once we are bite the dust, these memories, like little ants, hover in our loved ones, and resurface annually in our absence.
On a personal front, at present, when I have already lived half the average life span of a human, I realized that life is too short to hold on to memories, good and bad alike. It is more colorful to create new ones, though they might fade away, eventually. Still, we spend our entire lives asking the Universe for signs, to create art, music, make life altering decisions, but ultimately, we only see, what we want to see, when we are ready to see it. Similarly, the depiction of my painting is an open one, and I would urge the viewers to keep that in mind. Though the clocks melts, and decay sets in, much like the circle of life, something beautiful is born out of it - we live on in memories, even if for an annual edition, our children represent a part of us, our work reminds people of who we were. True death is inevitable, but so is life which branches out from it. Things must fall apart to make way for better things, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, my friends.