Salvador Dali opened the gate to a twisted, dreamy world. Fascinated by his art? You will love these Salvador Dali tattoos.
If there’s a word to describe Salvador Dali’s artwork, it would be surreal. The artist was a leading force of Surrealism. He might not start the movement, but he, as well as his melting clock, was the face of it.
But the artist is more than a style. He was a madman that got deeply involved in different forms of art: painting, sculpture, photography, movie, and even ads. The crazy, twisted ideas coming from this mad genius fascinate the world.
He grew a global following by thinking outside of the box. His art grouped together like-minded people who challenged the social norms. And if you are one of them, you will love these Salvador Dali tattoos.
From exacting replication to creativity birthed from his original paintings, these tattoos pay the ultimate tribute to the artist.
Who is Salvador Dali?
Born in a middle-class family in Spain in 1904, Salvador Dali was a talented painter from an early age. His father supported his pursuit of art despite their struggling relationship.
As skillful as he was in painting, he didn’t graduate from art school because, in his opinion, the teachers were not good enough to judge his art.
He then became one of the pioneers of Surrealism, a form of politics, art, and philosophy that questioned the social standards of reality. His painting, the Persistence of Memory, became a symbol of the style. And the melting clocks solidified his place in the art Hall of Fame.
Why are people getting Salvador Dali tattoos?
If you have seen some of the Salvador Dali tattoos, you will find that most of them are about melting clocks. But the artist had so much more to offer. And people are getting Salvador Dali tattoos for several reasons.
- The love for the art
It’s not exaggerating to say that Dali’s art is still avant-garde looking from today. The creative, dreamy world his work presents gives a tattoo a huge attraction.
- The rebellious soul
People love the artist not only for his work but also for his personality. Throughout his life, Salvador Dali has been everything but boring. He was sticking lobsters to phones, throwing cats in a photoshoot, and selling his mustache at a ridiculous price.
What seemed crazy at that time made him a symbol of rebellion. For people who value originality and spiritual independence, Salvador Dali tattoos are reminders that one can be different and successful.
Disclaimer: This tattoo collection is for inspiration only. Please do not copy the artwork. If you love these tattoos, follow artists and show them some support.
Salvador Dali tattoos with meaning
The Persistence of Memory bookmark tattoo
Created in 1931, The Persistence of Memory is the most recognizable painting of Salvador Dali. It features three melting clocks hanging on the tree, on the edge of a platform, and on a human face.
It was debated that the clocks represent the fluidity of time, which reflects Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. However, the artist himself insisted that the inspiration was melting cheese. This Dali tattoo shows a part of his original painting with great attention to shadows, colors, and details. Such an elaborate replica shows how much the wearer respects the artist.
Whimsical Dali elephant tattoo
Another classic Dali object is the elephant. Unlike those in the real world, Dali’s elephants have super stretched legs, like in this tattoo.
This tattoo adds a creative twist with the colored earth and the elephants in black and white. It creates a transition from dreams to reality.
Swans Reflecting Elephants
Swans Reflecting Elephants is one of Salvador Dali’s paintings created in the Paranoiac-critical period.
In the painting, Dali used the lake as a mirror. And the reflections of swans and trees became elephants. The creativity that goes into this artwork makes it look unreal and real at the same time.
Dali bookmark tattoo
People don’t just admire Dali for his artwork but also for his quirky and over-the-top personality. This black and grey tattoo captures it with a fun twist. It looks as if Dali is peeking from inside the frame. And the fact that his mustache extends out of the frame brings the tattoo to life.
The melting clock
Artistic tattoos don’t have to be a copy of the entire painting. This small tattoo keeps only the melting clock in the Persistence of Memory. Even those who don’t know much about the artist will identify the famous clock at first sight.
Woman with the head of roses
It might seem weird, but it’s more than normal for Dali to replace human heads with other objects, flowers being a romantic example.
It is argued that the flowers may represent female sexuality. And others think that they reflect Dali’s detest in the upper-class Surrealists. However, that’s the beauty of Dali’s artwork: it’s always open for imagination and discussion.
The crazy genius
Salvador Dali is probably one of the artists who are known not only for their artworks and their images.
This tattoo features his famous mustache, the crazy eyes, and the melting clocks draping on a pigeon and the edge of a platform. It’s a harmonious combination of the artist and his art.
From afar, this tattoo might look like a Halloween-themed design. But it’s actually from the painting in 1945 that also showed up in Hitchcock’s Spellbound.
As in the evil eye and the eye of Horus tattoos, the eye may represent certain energy. But here, it symbolizes how we see the world, which needs to be revolutionized, according to Dali.
Olive tree and the melting clock
The melting clock and the olive tree it hangs on from the Persistence of Memory have different symbolisms.
The clock is believed to symbolize the relativity of time, a theory denied by Dali himself. And the dead olive tree might refer to world peace destroyed by World War I. Together, the elements create a solemn scene with undergoing disturbances.
Moon and Dali sleeve tattoo
Art births art. The tattooist changed the iconic Dali elephants into wolves with super long limbs. With the moon phases on the top, it embodies a mysterious accuracy.
This tattoo is inspired by Salvador Dali’s 1981 painting Flordali II.
Like the original artwork, the tattooist transforms the butterfly wings into flower leaves.
What’s different is the choice of patterns and colors. The tattooist changes the original butterfly wings into a more colorful and intricate version. This adaptation is perfect for those who love rich, vibrant colors.
The Anthropomorphic Cabinet
One key characteristic of Surrealism is to place regular objects together and create unexpected combinations. The origin of this tattoo – The Anthropomorphic Cabinet is one of them.
In the painting, the torso of this female figure becomes open drawers, which resembles the darkness that lies in everyone. It’s also said to represent subconsciousness, which reflects the theory of Sigmund Freud.
The melting cats
Tattoos reflect the wearer’s personality. As in this tattoo, the clocks are not the ones melting. Instead, the tattooist changed them into the cats of RIPnDIP, which makes the tattoo fun and personal.
Dali and Sleeping Beauty
Kozo is an artist that loves to play with unlikely combinations. And this tattoo is yet another fantastic work of his.
It is adapted from a photo of Salvador Dali painting on his wife’s forehead, Gala. But the tattooist changed her into Sleeping Beauty and connected the reality with fairytales.
The Moon – Manhattan Skyline
The original artwork, Moon Over Culip Cove, may not look very Dali. The moon with a human face, the city skyline, a lobster and two wolves roaring to the sky, these elements together paint a dreamy city night view. And the fact that this was painted by Dali when he was around 10 makes it solid proof of his talent.
It’s not the first, and the last time we see women with drawers in Dali’s art. The painter seems to be obsessed with exploring the possibilities of a human body.
If the drawers represent the unconsciousness, the fire will symbolize burning desire we may not know exists in our minds.
Mustache and clock
This tattoo is truly unique, not just because it pays tribute to Dali with his iconic mustache and melting clock. From afar, the man’s silhouette in a suit resembles Magritte’s The Son of the Man. By putting these elements together, this tattoo is undoubtedly creative and surreal.
The Persistence of Memory moon tattoo
Moon represents femininity, emotion, and change. Just like the repeating moon phases, the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. We have no idea whether the wearer agrees with this concept. But it echos with Dali’s belief that time is fluid and nothing is fixed.
Dali had a muse equally important as his wife Gala – his dreams. Titled as Sleep, this tattoo’s original painting is yet another representation of the weird dreamy world he created.
Crutches support the soft, almost fabric-like face. It almost feels like it is flowing in the air, mirroring the state of mind during sleep.
Dali in colors
Intense gaze, signature mustache, this Salvador Dali portrait captures the artist vividly. By turning what would be a regular portrait tattoo into blocks in contrasting colors, this tattoo is something that will capture your attention even from a distance.
Dali’s Elephant back tattoo
It’s not uncommon to have a large back tattoo. But it’s rare to have something on only one side of the back, like this one here.
It features Dali’s iconic elephant with long, skinny limbs. The way that it is positioned on the back gives a feeling that the elephant is walking forward, creating motion in stillness.
Digital Persistence of Memory
Many artists toy with the melting clocks of Dali. They turn them into different things in their expression. This tattoo artist gives it a digital age makeover while increasing the contrast in colors.
Flight of a Bee
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening is a painting of Salvador Dali created in 1944. The two tigers and the fish are part of the painting, along with the figure of Gala, Dali’s wife.
This painting is another dream-inspired work of Dali. But the artist was not fooling around with the details. That makes it hard to replicate it as a tattoo. But as we can see from this back piece, even the hair of the tigers is done to perfection. It makes the tattoo so vivid as the tigers would jump out the next second.
Elephant and the sun
Normally in tattoos, the sun represents hope, energy, and passion. However, this Dali tattoo becomes a background that makes the elephant pop out on the skin.
It is believed but never confirmed that the stretched legs of the elephant represent the invisible human desire. And the weight it is carrying symbolizes power and domination.
New Man and the whale
In 1943, Salvador Dali created the Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man. The tattooist takes the egg and puts it into a whale in this ink.
The man about to be born from the egg represents the birth of a new world. Whale, as in most tattoos, symbolizes calmness and power. Together, this piece will remind one’s inner strength that births new hope.
Rhinoceros and elephants are both big-sized mammals. Here in this tattoo, the artist replaced the elephants in Dali’s painting with Rhinos. and switched the load to cobblestones.
Unlike the original painting, this tattoo embodies a feeling of calm and zen. With the attention to detail, it is a successful makeover of Dali’s artwork.
Dali and Rick Sanchez
Salvador Dali is a crazy genius, no doubt. And so is Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty. The tattooist keeps the recognizable mustache of Dali and the crazy eyes of Rick and creates a new character. Judging from the individual craziness of the two, we can only assume what this new character is capable of.
Dali geometric tattoo
Sometimes you don’t need to change everything to create a new tattoo. All you need is a few changes here and there.
Just like in this tattoo, the triangles add a dramatic effect to the black and white foundation. It would be perfect for someone who wants to pay tribute and add his personal touch.
Persistence of Colors
The Persistence of Memory has been turned into numerous versions, this tattoo being an example.
It consists of blocks of colors and bold lines. The straight lines are in perfect contrast with the curvy melting clocks. By adding a starry night background, this new Persistence of Memory turns the original gloomy vibes into a fresh, vibrant new art.
If you love Dali and cats, what can be better than a Cat Dali?
Dali’s Elephants matching calf tattoos
One reason so many people love Dali’s art is that he never failed to surprise. From melting clocks to long-limb elephants, his objects are so unreal that they look real.
If his weird aesthetics speak to you, these matching calf tattoos might be a good fit for your next ink.
Colorful Dali abstract tattoo
If Picasso is doing a portrait for Dali, this would probably be what it looks like.
Dali and his elephant
The artist turns half of Dali’s head into a platform in this tattoo. On it stands his long-legged elephant. The composition of the tattoo reflects the absurdity of Dali’s art style. It’s just like the painter himself, always thinking outside of the box.
Artistic dragons tattoo
In this artsy tattoo, the three dragons’ silhouettes are filled with Vincent Van Gogh‘s Starry Night, Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, and René Magritte’s Son of the Man.
Dragon tattoos are symbols of power and strength. If you love dragons and art, this tattoo sets a good example of incorporating the two together.
Black and white Dali arm tattoo
It may be hard for those who don’t know about Dali’s work very well to link the elephant to the painter. But with the crazy eyes looking straight to the viewers, this tattoo is definitely a tribute to Dali.
If there’s anyone who can glue a lobster to a telephone and make an art out of it, it could only be Dali. It was a sculpture but also appeared multiple times in Dali’s paintings.
It challenges the social perception of how things should be. If you can make a call with a lobster, everything else is possible.
The Burning Giraffe
The Burning Giraffe is yet another proof of Dali’s admiration for Sigmund Freud. The drawers pulled out from the female figure represent the depths of the human mind. And it can only be accessed by psychoanalysis, which echos with Freud’s theory.
The Butterfly Rose
Why can’t butterflies be grown from a rose if clocks can melt? The Butterfly Rose is one of not many of Dali’s paintings that don’t look weird. Instead, it depicts a beautiful assumption that makes perfect tattoos for women.
The surreal Dali
Swirls are not uncommon in Dali’s artwork. They are the port connecting the real and unreal. In this tattoo, Dali’s face is twisted, making the viewer question whether he did exist or not.
Woman With A Flower Head
Unlike the Burning Giraffe, this female figure has a normal body with flowers as her head. If flower tattoos represent purity and elegance, this tattoo can be praise of one’s beautiful mind.
Realism Frida Kahlo forearm tattoo
It’s not easy to recreate Dali’s artworks, especially on the skin.
In the Persistence of Memory, the lines of the clocks have to be smooth to capture the fluidity. But those of the platform have to be straight and precise like they come from a machine. That’s why a painting tattoo like this one shows excellent skills of tattooing.
Which of these Salvador Dali tattoos is your favorite?
Leave a comment down below and let me know your thoughts!