"Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man" by Salvador Dali


"Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man" by Salvador Dali (1943)

In this painting Salvador Dali gives us a large egg-shaped globe of the world out of which a man is struggling to "hatch". This "new man" is coming out of North America - the United States. There is blood running out of the crack in the egg and the new man's hand has England firmly in its grasp. In the foreground two figures are watching; one an adult the other a small child. The adult, of indeterminate sex, is drawing the child's attention by pointing at the new man being birthed. The child is standing as if afraid - both hiding behind and holding on to the adult's knees. The imagery here is fairly clear. America is emerging as the major force in the world. This new power is at the cost of some blood (World War II). The fate of England is in America's hands.

I'm not sure what significance can be drawn from the disproportionately large sizes of Africa and South America on the globe. The child - though much smaller than the adult - casts a shadow much larger than the adult's. I get the impression that Salvador Dali is saying, "This is what you will have to deal with." And in a tone that is not altogether reassuring.

13 comments:

Dhiraj said...

great blog for Dali friends. Key to Salvador Dali’s art is his pursuit of concretization of dreams. This involves a credible breach in the civilizational habit of taking reality as fixed entity. Art such as this has to be hyper real in details. This exactness of minute attributes is fraught with danger as modern art abhors photo-realism and definitely the spatial illusion is a raging anathema in the canon of modern art. This is a testimony to ‘freakish talent’ of Dali that he pulled off the audacious artistic coup of ‘renaissance like modern art’.
http://modernartists.blogspot.com/2012/01/salvador-dali-realism-for-unreal-world.html

lostnmydcmbr said...

This painting depicts the effects of World War II on the world, as told by Dali. Design principles like symbolism, color, perspective, and focus are all used to visualize the effects this massive war had on the world’s societies, politics, economies, and human beings.
The, literally, unveiled centerpiece of the painting is the world, shaped like an egg. Dali uses the image of an egg to depict the gestation of a new beginning. The “new” is evident of the man being birthed into this Post-World War world. If you look closely, you can see that Dali didn’t stop there with the symbolism. The man is specifically coming out of America. After WWII, America’s strength as an authority and power on the international stage grew to surpass that of the European nations. Most notably, America’s power surpassed Great Britain, as depicted by the birthing-man’s hand clutching and crushing the area of the world where Great Britain is. The United Nations was formed and established in New York City as a result of the war and on the highly encouraged recommendation of the United States. The viewer also notices that Europe is un-proportionally distorted to a smaller size. This goes back to the fact that America’s authority has surpassed Europe.
The 3rd world areas of the Pre-World War world are enlarged to depict the increased awareness of these areas and their evolution to the 2nd world as the war ended. Many of the nations in these areas saw great growth in their economies, political power and populations through the stimulus of war. When the viewer first looks at this painting, no matter what their eyes first landed on, they are inevitably drawn to red blood seeping from the egg. This is because the red is a such a tremendous contrast to the drab and dull colors of the rest of the painting. This contrast, as is with everything Dali does, was intentional. Through the almost shockingly apparent contrast, Dali was able to convey the emotion and stimulus that was generated from the unbelievable amount of blood loss that came of the second World War. It is notable that the crack from where the blood is hemorrhaging runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. Again, this is to express how this affected the world as a whole and how indiscriminate the losses were.
The individuals to the right of the painting, that are watching this birth unfold, represent the past and the future. The past, of course, being the adult and the child being the future. The past/adult is seemingly worn, drained, and unhealthy. The future/child is plump, muscular, and fearful. These symbols are used to show the past’s inability to sustain and the promise that the future holds, although timid and concerned by what it sees. Dali, brilliantly, swaps their shadows to show how the past is coming to an end and the future will go on. There are five individuals in the painting though. Look closely, to the left of the egg/world. There, in fine garments, is a couple dancing closely together. Here, Dali was trying to call out those of the upper class that insisted on continuing on as things were and dismiss the horror and death of the war. They are small and off in the distance to convey two things. One, they are small; this was a small percentage of society. Two, they are off in the distance; they attempted to distance themselves from the realities of the lower classes.

BDL Palash said...

This is a pretty neat project! I think my favorites are the first and
last one because they really captured the essence of the original. I know there's a project somewhere of an artist that did paintings that look just like photographs.
I'll try to find a link to share with you because that one was
pretty amazing too!

Pictures to paintings
photos to paintings
photo to painting
picture to painting
painting from photo

tia borso said...

I am trying to use this blog post as a source for an essay I am writing in school. Could you please tell me who initially wrote this commentary and on what date it was published?

Beka said...

Is it just me or is the adult indicating on Caucasus?

ezizbeyli hemide said...

you are right, Beka. adult shows Caucasus-Azerbaijan-Khazar lake Absheron peninsuela.

Nika Kandiashvili said...

I think the finger is on orthodox country - Georgia

Nika Kandiashvili said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherine Tasker said...

I think the size of South America and Africa is to say that they didn't really participate in the War effort as much as the exaggerated countries/continents. I really like this one, out history teacher showed it in class as an example of surrealist art and how it portrayed the war.

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Unknown said...

Finger off are the georgia you evil mother fucker dali!!! 😡😡

Miguel May said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel May said...

Based on the position of the shadows and the distance to the globe, the adult is not putting a finger on any country; the person is simply pointing at the person emerging. If the person was touching the globe, it would have cast a different shadow.

If you knew the true size of the continents, you wouldn't think that Africa's and South America's sizes were being overrepresented. Both of those continents are massive and normally underrepresented on most maps, but not on globes.

Also, the larger shadow is coming off of the adult's foot, not the child's so I'm not sure why you interpreted what you did.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fs_j-n71GjA/ToDyTCYQUNI/AAAAAAAAADg/ThGR6cs-ufI/s1600/Field.png