The photo above is by an American photographer Philippe Halsman in a collaboration with the surrealist artist Salvador Dali and was taken back in 1948.
The theme of the photo – titled Dali Atomicus – is suspension. Dali himself, the three cats, the water, the bucket and a footstool are all suspended in mid air.
The picture was created as a reference to Dali’s painting Leda Atomica – which can be seen to the right of the photograph behind two of the suspended cats.
A copy of the painting Leda Atomica is shown below and depicts Leda, the Queen of Sparta, with a swan – again all are suspended: Leda isn’t actually sitting on the pedestal and the swan, together with an egg, stools, a book and set square all ‘float’ around the central nude figure.
The model for Leda was Dali’s wife Gala.
Salvador Dali himself describes his painting thus:
“Dali shows us the hierarchized libidinous emotion, suspended and as though hanging in midair, in accordance with the modern ‘nothing touches’ theory of intra-atomic physics. Leda does not touch the swan; Leda does not touch the pedestal; the pedestal does not touch the base; the base does not touch the sea; the sea does not touch the shore …”
As with atomic level particles we do not touch upon other things either unless, perhaps, by a meaningful coincidence or synchronicity.
In mythology Zeus raped Leda in the guise of a swan on her wedding night, while she slept with her new husband Tyndareus. This resulted in two sets of twins where one of each was immortal and the other mortal. Never trust a swan!
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For more interesting and unusual stories like this go to 67 Not Out – coincidences, synchronicity, UFOs, reincarnation and many other mysteries.