In 1941, American photographer Philippe Halsman met the surrealist artist Salvador Dali in New York City to create this piece in the late 1940s. In 1948 Dali explored the idea of suspension, showing three cats flying, water thrown from a bucket, an easel, a footstool and Salvador Dali all seemingly suspended in mid-air. The title of the photograph is a reference to Dalí’s work ‘Leda Atomica’ which can be seen on the right side of the photograph behind the two cats. Halsman reported that it took 28 attempts to be satisfied with the result. The subject matter and movement of the piece is surrealism.

My first impression of the piece is that it’s extremely unusual and unique. There is no other image like this; it is one of a kind. I think the piece portrays dreams and unusual minds; Dali was an unusual man with a crazy imagination which was also shown in his surrealism art work as well as this photo.

The image has lots of layers, the background is grey and the image is in black and white, but as the objects in the image are black, they are made bolder and stand out. Dali along with his painting and easel are in the middle ground slightly covered by the chair, cats and splash off water in the foreground. There is no main focal point in the image as it makes the piece more unusual and crazy if there’s objects scattered everywhere.

The image does have a few bad points about it, the strings holding the objects in the air are noticeable and do take some of the surreal madness effects away. As does the man holding the chair on the left side of the image however these minor faults in the 1940’s could not have been helped.

There are some shadows in the image created from the unnatural light source above Dali; the shadows are not distracting or influential. The rule of thirds may have been used as the image is proportionally set out so there is something to focus on in every area of the image.

The image is very inspirational and I would like to re-create it in my own style however experimenting with Photoshop rather than suspending objects I will take individual images and insert them.


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    May 2013