I have read several books about Dali and researched about him online but I am still baffled as to how to describe him and his work.
Thus far, I have come up with the following.
From what I have read he dabbled in just about every art movement(and very competent he was in all of them)but was
unable to settle to any style of his own until he became involved with Surrealism, a western Europe artistic and literary movement
(1916-23) that sought the discovery of authentic reality through the abolition of traditional culture and aesthetic forms,
and was an art and literary movement reflecting nihilistic protest against all aspects of Western culture.
Surrealism although based on these principles also emphasised the unconscious in creative activity and in particular to
develop the psychic unconscious to produce literature and art works. The artists in the movement researched and studied the works of
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Dali embraced all the science of painting as a way to study the psyche through subconscious
images. He called this process Paranoiac Critical Method.
He was trying to allow the image from the subconscious to reach the conscious
and to catch the image frozen onto the canvas in order to be able to find some meaning in them.
Just think! Every time you find yourself doodling during a lecture or whilst on the phone you are participating in a form of Surrealism.
Eventually Dali just became to big a character for even this art movement and repudiated it somewhat. I believe that he was so unique that he could form his own movement, that of Dalism. I do not always understand what he was expressing through his art despite the very long titles he bestowed upon them but they have the power to mesmerise,to stun,to delight,to baffle but above all to give enjoyment and pleasure.
Conscious,unconscious,subconscious images or not they stay in the mind long after you have closed a book,walked out of an exhibition or closed a browser.
Dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegranate one second before awaking
Still life-fast moving
The Metamorphosis of narcissus
The Persistence of Memory
Tuna Fishing(homage to Meissonier)
Velazquez Painting the Infanta Margarita with the Lights and Shadows of His Own Glory