Food products: bread is considered to be a man’s staple food and a symbol of life, often linked to religious tradition, served as a metaphor for sexual desire. The incorporation of fried eggs has been interpreted as an allusion to fertilization or returning to the womb, while the egg is linked to pre-natal images and the intra-uterine universe, and thus it is a symbol of both hope and love. In addition to that, the duality of its hard exterior and soft interior is consistent with the psychological notion that individuals create defenses around the vulnerable psyche.
Ants: when Dalí was five years old, he saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. The swarming ants in Dalí’s pictures and sculptures are references to death and decay and are reminders of human mortality and impermanence.
Melting Clocks: they represent the omnipresence of time, and identify its mastery over human beings. Dalí often said, “the materialization of time flexibility and indivisibility of space … This is a fluid.” The unexpected softness of the watch also represents the psychological aspect by which the speed of time, although accurate in its scientific definition, can greatly vary in human perception. These symbols represent a metaphysical image of time devouring itself and everything else, much like Cronos (chronos=time in greek) the titan from the Greek mythology did with his kids.
Snails: it occupies an important place in the Dalinian universe as it is intimately linked to a significant event in Dalí’s life – his meeting with Sigmund Freud. As Dalí believed that nothing occurred to him simply by accident, he was captivated when he saw a snail on a bicycle outside Freud’s house. He connected the snail with a human head, more particularly with Freud’s head. As with the egg, the hard shells and soft interiors of the snails also fascinated Dalí, and the geometry of their curves enchanted him.
Painting: Basket of Bread, Salvador Dalí
“Salvador Dalí, his life’s work” published by Dosdearte ediciones on 2017