The monstrous creature draped across the painting's center resembles the artist's own face in profile; its long eyelashes seem insectlike or even sexual, as does what may or may not be a tongue oozing from its nose like a fat snail. Dalí often used ants in his paintings as a symbol for death. The general interpretation is that the painting, which portrays many melting watches, is a rejection of time as a solid and deterministic influence. Surrealist works of art feature an element of surprise, unforeseen comparisons, and irreverent humor. Salvador Dalí The Persistence of Memory 1931. People are having a difficult time distinguishing the differences between the two pests (UC Davis). Many commentators have interpreted Dalí’s ants, a recurrent theme in his paintings, which can seen on the face of one of the painting’s pocket watches, as a symbol for decay. THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY HAS ALIASES. In Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali shows the clocks melting away and thus losing their power and stability over the world around them.  In practice, the painting looks more like something a person might see in a dream, rather than awake. Others have suggested that the deformed face … THE PAINTING HAS BECOME INGRAINED IN POP CULTURE. The Persistence of Memory uses "the exactitude of realist painting techniques". "The Persistence of Memory" was painted by Salvador Dali in 1931. Depending on the species of the ant, there can be multiple queens or one queen (National Geographic). One problem with ants lately is the confusion of winged ants and winged termites (UC Davis). The Persistence of Memory. "The Persistence of Memory" was painted by Salvador Dali in 1931. The ants appear to be eating the clock, representing the death of the clock, also the death of time. In The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dalí uses ants and flies to symbolize death. The Hidden Self-Portrait In the center of The Persistence of Memory lies a strange, almost-but-not-quite-humanoid figure. However, ants do preform useful functions in their environments, like feeding on other pests and dead insects (UC Davis). As one of his most popular paintings, it is a classic portrayal of the dream-like interpretation of quite simple objects and shapes distorted or transformed into sometimes unrecognizable forms. He places several ants on one clock in the bottom left corner of the painting. Many of Dalí's paintings were inspired by the landscapes of his life in Catalonia. Introduction Salvador Dali’s iconic painting, The Persistence of Memory, is quite probably one of the most famous works of art in the entire world, along with Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Picasso’s Guernica, and a few others—and certainly, it is the most-recognizable surrealist painting ever created.