Salvador Dali the Great Surrealist Painter
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Salvador Dali the Great Surrealist Painter

Salvador Dali was one of the great surrealist painters of the 20th century.

 Salvador Dali, that great, eccentric surrealist artist, film maker, sculptor and photographer, was born May 11, 1904 and passed away January 23, 1989. He was born in Figueres, Spain and his best known work was “Persistence of Memory” which was finished in 1931 and has been in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1934. He coined the title “critical paranoia” in describing his methodology. 

Dali’s first exhibit was held at the Municipal Theater in Figueres, Spain in 1919. He became a member of the Surrealists and his paintings exemplified fanciful or absurd images by use of uncharacteristic comparisons and combinations. Somewhat like a dreamscape. Surrealists displayed true fantasy while staying aware in the back of the mind that control of logic and will have been suspended on purpose. Some of the great surrealists were Frida Kahlo, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, Marcel Duchamp, and Rene Magritte. Dali was influenced by Joan Miro and admired Pablo Picasso.

In 1934 Dali had an exhibit in New York and was widely received and adored. He was unconventional by anyone’s standards for his eccentricities. He showed up at a party thrown for him in a glass case with a bra on under the glass. At the 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition Dali arrived in a full deep divers suit, helmet and all, brandishing a pool stick and leading two Russian Wolfhounds. 

In 1939 he had earned the nickname “Avida Dollars” which is an anagram of his name that meant “eager for dollars” because some felt he had become a commercialist and was seeking notoriety through fame and fortune. The nickname was given to him by other surrealists in his crowd and he was booted from the group. He retaliated by saying he was surrealism exemplified. In 1942 Dali published his autobiography, “The Secret Life of Salvador Dali.“ Andy Warhol was one of the great artists influenced by the works of Salvador Dali.

Dali married Gala, his muse, and had a somewhat unconventional marriage. They met in 1929 and married in 1934. Dali supposedly had a fear of female genitalia and was a virgin when they met. Gala was highly sexual and Dali encouraged her extramarital affairs as well as having exhibitions of her nakedness amongst friends. They remained married through out their entire lives, even though Gala suffered from near-senile tendencies later in life. She had fed Dali a cocktail of non-prescribed medicines causing nerve damage which ended his art career. In 1982 Gala died and Dali lost all will to live. It was thought that he may have attempted suicide, once by dehydration and the other by fire. His close friends took over his care and he died of heart failure in Spain in 1989. 

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Comments (1)

I have quite a few images including Homage to Newton on my site