Who were the surrealists? Salvador Dali and Pantonio

Salvador Dali:

Salvador Dali was a spanish artist, surrealist, and skilled draftsman. He was born in Figueres, Spain, in 1904 May 11th. He was best known for his surreal artwork, and self promotion. He waxed his moustache to get a very funny look. Other than art, Dali was also involved in photography, and film. In his lifetime, Dali made over 1500 paintings, many illustrations for books, literary work, and even a short film for Disney.

Some of his famous pieces of artwork are:

The Persistence of Memory

The Persistence of Memory, for me, is very confusing and hard to understand because I don’t know what is going on with melting clocks and a white figure. I think Dali might have painted it for himself, and that its not really meant for interpretation of other people. The Persistence of Memory was painted with oil on canvas. This painting is surreal because it has an unnatural setting, and has transformation. The unnatural setting is a desk in the middle of nowhere, and the transformation is the clocks acting like liquid. I don’t think this painting was inspired by anything because it is very difficult to understand, and Dali was one of the first surrealists.

The Three Sphinxes of Bikini

The painting, Three Sphinxes of Bikini, is quite famous and has a deep meaning. Dali was inspired to make this painting because at the time, USA conducted 23 nuclear bomb experiments on the islands of Bikini. The people that inhabited the islands were relocated to USA mainland before the experiments, and were sent back 10 years later. 20 years after the experiments, the inhabitants discovered that radiation levels were still dangerously high. That was when Dali decided to paint Three Sphinxes of Bikini, with oil on canvas. This painting is surreal because it contains unnatural setting, which is the middle of nowhere, it contains size and scale aspects, for example, the heads are bigger than normal; The painting also contains transformation, the head transforms into a tree, then a head again.


Another famous piece of artwork by Salvador Dali is Sleep, was inspired by his area of residence as a child, Cape de Creus, which is now a famous site in Spain. The painting was done on canvas with oil, and contains all three aspects of surreal art. It contains transformation because the face is transforming into a blob, it contains unnatural setting because it is in the middle of a desert-like place, and it also contains size and scale aspects, because a face is not that big. The painting looks funny to me because the nose of the face is really big, like a cartoon character.

Over all, I think Salvador Dali is a great artist, and has a lot of talent to be able to draw surreal artwork. His painting skills are great, and I would like to see more of his artwork, but I cannot understand the meaning of the painting just by looking at it. I would have to research about it on the internet. It would be good to see some paintings of observed objects made by Dali.

I chose Dali for this assignment because, in my opinion, he is the most known surrealist and I have seen his artwork many times before. I also picked him because I knew he was very famous, so there would be lots of credible information about him on the Internet.


Pantonio, although not his real name (which shall not be revealed), is known all over the world for his surreal artwork. He is a surreal artist and street artist. There was not much information about his life on the internet, so I sent him an email asking for a few questions, which he happily replied to. He did not however, give exact information about himself as it could lead to some issues. Pantonio was born around Christmas 1975, in Terceira, Portugal. Pantonio got into arts when he was a child. As a child, Pantonio received many gifts from his parent’s friends that were related to drawing. He also went to all freely available workshops of drawing, painting and sculpting. Pantonio was also a shy boy, and was afraid of large crowds, so drawing relieved him it was a “safe place.” He did his first exhibition at the age of 14.

Pantonio gets a lot of his inspiration from the movement of the dynamic ocean which surrounds his home islands. He was also inspired by many unnamed, painters, writers and musicians. But for drawings, he was inspired by russian drawings. In my opinion, I think Pantonio does a great job of making surreal artwork, and I would love to see it in person someday.

Pantonio does a lot of his work with spray paints on walls or wood, but recently he has been using acrylic paints because he likes the plasticity and vibrations of the lines that are made from it. Pantonio has made many pieces of artwork with spray paints and acrylic paints, here are some:

The photo above shows one of the several street paintings Pantonio has done. His inspiration from the ocean can be seen in this painting because of how the lines are painted. This painting is surreal because It is in an unnatural setting, and it has transformation. What seems to look like a wolf’s head, is transforming into many lines which resemble hair. It is a beautiful painting and is painted on a wall with a white background.

This painting is similar to the 1st one, but this is done on a white boat. Again, the wavy lines show the inspiration from the ocean waves. This painting is surreal because the woman’s head is transforming in the dark, wavy lines, and they seem to turn into tentacles at the end.

This painting is also very similar to the two paintings before. It is on a white wall, and has the wavy lines which have drawn inspiration from the ocean. The painting is of a woman’s head, transforming into lines, and there seem to be many other little fish near her that are also transforming. This painting it surreal because it contains transformation.

I chose Pantonio as my second artist because he is not like some of the other surrealists. Most of the surrealists were from the early 1900s, and usually did they paintings on canvas with paints. But Pantonio uses different techniques. He paints on the streets, on boats, and not only with paints, but with sprays as well. Several of his pieces are drawings on many different papers and then put together on a wall. Over all, he is a great artist, and I would like to see new and exciting artwork from him.

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