Angels, elephants, crutches, ants, eggs… Dalí was a lover of symbols are used them throughout his art various forms and guises.
The egg for example, confirms the example of the contrast of a hard shell and a soft inside. This interior/ exterior contrast / (hard / soft) is consistent with the psychological notion that individuals create defenses around the vulnerable psyche, that is flexible.
In the bronze sculpture, the Space Venus, Dalí pays homage to the female figure by adding his own special elements, including a golden egg placed on top the naked torso. The underlying form in this sculpture is of a classic marble statue of a female torso, to which have been added four Dalinian elements: a soft watch, an egg, two ants and a separation of the body into two parts.
The watch is draped over the neck to give us two opposing messages; that beauty of the flesh is temporary and will vanish, while beauty of art is timeless and eternal. The ants are reminders of human mortality and impermanence. The egg is a positive symbol and represents life, renewal, continuation and the future.
Salvador Dali’s painting, Eggs on a Plate without the Plate is currently on loan from the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and it joins the Menil Collection in Houston in an exhibition this month. Dalí completed Eggs on a Plate without the Plate in the early 1930s, a period in which he was in close contact with Surrealist artists like Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Man Ray.
Eggs on a Plate without the Plate includes one of Dalí’s most familiar motifs, a melting watch. The watch hangs beneath an ear of corn and beside a plate fried of eggs, all meticulously rendered. A third egg hovers, suspended by a string, like the watch itself. The slippery softness of the eggs and the drooping timepiece contrast starkly to the angular building, which serves as a platform for the strange assemblage of objects.