Mysterious Mouth Appearing In The Back Of My Nurse – Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was an iconic Spanish surrealist and artist. He was born in Figueres, Spain, and garnered a reputation of using his technical skills to create striking yet somehow bizarre images. Dali became influential due to his intriguing explorations of the subconscious and how he created imagery based on it.
To hone his skills, he enrolled at the school for Special Painting in Madrid’s San Fernando. While his personal life was controversial, his career life picked up very well. Although the surrealist printmaker is best known globally for his artwork, the Persistence of Memory, he still had a huge collection of other masterpieces, including the distinguished Mysterious Mouth Appearing In The Back Of My Nurse (1941) painting.
Mysterious Mouth Appearing In The Back Of My Nurse: Brief Overview
Painter: Salvador Dali
Date of Creation: 1941
The Genre of Painting: Symbolic
Art Movement: Surrealism
Mysterious Mouth Appearing 1914: Surrealism
Salvador Dali is one of the artists who used surrealism a lot and he used it in this mysterious mouth painting. He was able to effectively conjure dream-like imagery, triggering any subconscious into different imaginations, thus, reinforcing the symbolic genre.
He used irrational juxtaposition in surrealism i.e. positioning of more than two subjects close together, creating an extraordinary painting. The inspiration behind this Mysterious Mouth Appearing In The Back Of My Nurse painting was inspired by Dali’s creative genius. He loved to create images that existed between the imaginative boundary of waking and sleeping.
Mysterious Mouth Appearing 1941: Content
The portrait has several merging points, clearly bringing out multiple images. The more you look at it, the deeper the variations. So, let’s dig inside it and find how Dali used surrealism to portray this piece of magnificent art that has been used all over the world.
i. At a distance or taking a general appearance, we can see the image of a woman in a veil. The upper part of her head is covered with the veil and we can’t see her hair. We can see distinct eyes as well as part of her nose and mouth.
ii. There are buildings that merge with the eye on the right-hand-side. These buildings seem like they reflect a city. Slightly below the city buildings pattern, there is one big building lying in its own setting. It’s quite brighter than the others and actually has four doors.
iii. On what’s supposed to be the woman cheeks there are a total of four boats, banked on the shore of the sea which spreads from the cheeks to the other side of the eye found on the left-hand side.
iv. However, what seems to the sea is also land. A woman is sitting on it, with her back facing the viewer, legs crossed, and arms folded. Besides her, on her back and near the edge of the shore stands a little girl and she appears to be talking to the woman. Their shadows join to form one long shadow.
v. The part on the woman’s head which seems to be covered by a scarf is also the sky, with a branch of tree leaves covering it.
vi. Note that buildings on the eye on the right-hand-side stretch to and join to another set of buildings found inside the eye on the left hand-side-eye
We can see that Salvador Dali used his unconscious mind to create a dreamy piece of art. There are almost endless crisscrossing mediums and the more you look at it, the more you find something new. This portrait deeply explains some of Dali’s deepest thoughts as they used to resurface.
Type of Technique Used
In this artwork, Dali used hyper-realistic surrealism or hyperrealism. It’s a type of painting genre where the artists try to draw a high-resolution image that looks like a photograph. The narration involves Dali’s feelings. We can see the intertwining cycle between human beings, land, the sea, buildings, and nature. All join at an imaginary boundary, covering different angles.
The style of drawing is generally softer with no sharp points or boundaries. Meanwhile, too much focus was put into different subjects and how they were thriving or behaving in different environments. This art has an illusion that is convincing and that’s why it effectively depicts reality.
There are smooth textures as seen from the eyes of the woman, the woman sitting, and the buildings as well as the water body. There are also surfaces i.e. the land where the woman is sitting and the trees that surround the buildings, there is the sea and the shores where the boats are located.
Besides those, Dali plays with different light effects including cleaner shades and shadows such as the woman and the little girl talking to her all have shadows.
What Does Dali’s Style Reflect in this Art?
There are a lot of things that come to play when we look at the details of this artwork and its numerous subject. The woman, for instance, can be seen to be in a sad state and deep into thoughts. The little girl on the other hand is trying to communicate and get her attention.
There is also architectural design featuring various buildings, environmental elements such as the trees, and the sea among others. This image not only has a social thematic element but also environmental and economic. The effective outcome of this painting (just like most hyperreal paintings) was attained by the use of acrylics and airbrush.
Other Types of Paintings by Salvador Dali
Although Dali was highly controversial, he had a wide art catalog. Some of his other progressive arts include:
- Un Chien Andalou (1927): he used an ethereal setting that involves presenting images in montaged clips, thereby jostling the unconscious of the viewer. It’s worth noting that this can still be highly shocking to the viewer who is awake. This clip reinforces that concept because Dali painted a cow’s eye into the eye socket of a woman, creating a high feeling of discomfort to the viewer.
- The persistence of memory (1931): this is one of Dali’s most reproduced paintings and it has an iconic status. The Persistence of Memory highlights the fluidity of time through a series of melting watches. Dali wanted to create an image that is far from reality, as seen from the inherent properties of the watches.
- Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (1936): this painting work by Dali was actually a premonition of the Civil War, i.e. The Spanish Civil War that started in 1936 and ended in 1939. From this, it’s clear that his subconscious was not only powerful but also prophetic. Virtually, the paintwork depicts the anxieties that come with civil war, horror, doom, and violence that affected many Spaniards.
- In Voluptas Mors (1951): at a glance, anyone will just see a skull. However, if you take a closer and deeper look at this paintwork, you will be astonished to find a composition of seven female models who are nude. It’s In Voluptas Mors titled loosely means the Voluptuous Death. According to Dali, he valued death so much. Eroticism was his first interest and then death. The visual illusion as well as the optical effects used to create it highlights different individual particularities, something that he loved to play around with in order to trigger the psyches of the viewers.
- The Crucifixion (1953): although Dali was a weak student especially in Math, he was very passionate about atomic theory. This was after the explosion of nuclear warheads in Japan. Atomic theory and other related topics began to interest him so much and this contributed to a significant change in his style of artistry. He went ahead to use classical techniques and this involved new discoveries in science and math. He now focused on creating artwork with the 4th dimension. This is clearly depicted in the Crucifixion where he used a hypercube, an advanced type of spatial concept, to display the cross.
Salvador Dali: Accomplishments
Through his extensive carrier, Salvador Dali had multiple accomplishments and the most prominent ones include:
- Creating a unique visual language that had the ability to effectively render his hallucinations and dreams. Well. These include some of the ubiquitous pieces of work that have gained significant popularity over the years.
- Use of paranoiac-critical where he would simulate certain aspects of delusion while at the same time try to maintain his sanity. It should be noted that Dali, at some point, described this aspect as an irrational knowledge technique and most of the surrealists now employ it.
- He had obsessive interests in two themes: death and eroticism. They are highlighted in his numerous works. You need to understand that this reflected his familiarity as well as synthesis with the psycho-analytical theories that were common during that time
Dali left behind a rich legacy and even after his death, his pieces of work are still being recreated globally. He was passionate about life and according to him, life is the greatest form of artwork. Dali was a relentless person who unapologetically created a diverse range of work. Generally, he was open to the idea of exploration and that’s why his mind was always filled with endless possibilities of new ideas.