Artists use symbols in different ways in their works to define their true feelings and to illustrate ideas and experiences. The three artists I will use to demonstrate how symbols can be used to gain different meanings are, Joseph Cornell, Salvador Dali and Rosalie Gascoigne. Cornell uses symbols to represent his fantasies and dreams, Dali also uses surrealist symbols to represent his desires and dreams and Gascoigne uses symbols to represent the landscape where she lived and decay.
Joseph Cornell is an American sculptor and filmmaker. He was born on the 24th of December 1903 and died on the 29th of December 1972.
Bebe Marie was created in the early 1940’s. It is made from a papered and painted wooden box that contains a doll in a dress made of cloth and a flower made also of cloth. If you look closely you will notice the intricate detail on the doll that has been placed behind the cluster of twigs. Because there is a doll in this sculpture, it perhaps has something to do with childhood and the numerous dark twigs suggests that the childhood portrayed was not a very delightful or happy one.
Cornell likes to depict fantasy inspired and illusory images in his works, like in his work The Hotel Eden. Because Cornell lived in New York, he found many interesting and strange objects. He was also interested in second-hand bookstores, so he found a way to incorporate that in his work.
Salvador Dali is a Spanish painter, sculptor and filmmaker. He was born on May 11th 1904 and he died on January the 23rd 1989.
The Persistence of Memory was made in 1931. It was created by using oil on canvas. The work mainly features melted clocks and sky above the horizon. The clocks in this particular work are what give it a meaning. These symbols represent the facts that dreams can change and become strange and distorted. This work revolves around dreams and personal psychological fantasies.
In fact, all of Dali’s work is based around dreams and psychological fantasies and generally things that simply do not occur in reality. For example, Dali’s work Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bumblebee around a Pomegranate a Moment Before Awakening. This work also goes back to the idea of reality and fantasy because of the tigers attacking the nude woman and the elephant hovering above the ocean.
Rosalie Gascoigne is an Australian artist and sculptor. She was born on the 25th January 1917 and had died on the 23rd of October 1999. Regimental Colours was started in 1990 and finished in 1991. It was made using sawn soft drink crates on plywood. The work features various brands of soft drinks such as Schweppes. The main symbol in this work is the worn down surface.
Many of her works are created around her interest in her surroundings. She likes to use older, worn down materials and signs that show age and have a history. Just like show has shown in Regimental Colours and also her work Sweet Lovers, she does this to show the memories and experiences through the aging material.
In conclusion, symbols used in artworks are a very great way to express your inner feelings and emotions. Artists use this to their advantage so they can make their works more interesting and in depth.
Courtney from Study Moose
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