Salvador DalíMad or Genius? “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supre pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali.” -Salvador Dali
Difficult childhood• Salvador Dali was born on May 11, 1904 in the town of Figueres, in the Empordà region, close to the French border in Catalonia, Spain.• Dalís older brother, also named Salvador (born October 12, 1901), had died of gastroenteritis nine months earlier.• Dalí was told by his parents that he was his brothers reincarnation, a concept which he came to believe. Of his brother, Dalí said, "...[we] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections."• Salvadors father had a strict disciplinary approach to raising children. Salvador wouldnt tolerate his sons outbursts or eccentricities, and punished him severely.• In February 1921, Dalís mother died of breast cancer. Dalí was sixteen years old; he later said his mothers death "was the greatest blow I had experienced in my life. I worshipped her... After her death, Dalís father married his deceased wifes sister.
Influential friends• In 1922, Dalí moved into the Residencia de Estudiantes (Students Residence) in Madrid. At the Residencia, he became close friends with (among others) Pepín Bello, Luis Buñuel, and Federico García Lorca. Pepín Bello, García Lorca y Dalí en Madrid in 1924
• In 1926 he made his first visit to Paris, where he met with Picasso, whom the young Dalí revered. Picasso had already heard favorable reports about Dalí from Joan Miró. As he developed his own style over the next few years, Dalí made a number of works heavily influenced by Picasso and Miró. Pablo Picasso Joan Miró
• Dalí devoured influences from many styles of art, ranging from the most academically classic to the most cutting-edge avant garde. His classical influences included Raphael, Bronzino, Francisco de Zurbaran, Vermeer, and Velázquez (from whom he adopted his signature curled moustache). Diego Velázquez Salvador Dalí
• In August 1929, Dalí met his muse, inspiration, and future wife Gala, born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova.
• Amongst Dalis most famous friends was Freud. Indeed much of the surrealist movement can be paralleled with the work of Freud at that time. Psychoanalytic theory purported to explain and interpret dreams, hidden unconscious desires and the tapestry of symbolism thereof. This is the foundation of the surrealist movement. Sigmund Freud
• Dali soon went into film and produced "Un chien dandalou" (an Andalusian Dog) with Luis Buñuel, famous for its slitting of the eye image and the symbolic ants crawling out of the mans arm. French poster of the film Luis Buñuel An image from Dalís dream, part of the inspiration for the film.
Dalís paranoiac critical methodDalís major contribution to the Surrealist Movement was what he called the"paranoiac-critical method“, a mental exercise of accessing the subconscious toenhance artistic creativity. Dalí would use the method to create a reality from hisdreams and subconscious thoughts, thus mentally changing reality to what he wantedit to be and not necessarily what it was. For Dalí it became a way of life.The idea was the use of double imagery in order to "...systematize confusion andcontribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality".
First achievementsIn 1931, Dalí painted one of his most famous works, “The Persistence of Memory”, whichintroduced a surrealistic image of soft, melting pocket watches. The general interpretation of thework is that the soft watches are a rejection of the assumption that time is rigid or deterministic.This idea is supported by other images in the work, such as the wide expanding landscape, andthe other limp watches, shown being devoured by insects.
Dalís heritageFrom 1960 to 1974, Salvador Dalí dedicated much of his time to creating the Dalí Teatro Museo(Theater-Museum) in Figueres, Spain. The museum was the former Municipal Theater where Dalíhad his public exhibition at the age of 14. The original 19th century structure was destroyed atthe end of the Spanish Civil War. Officially opened in 1974 the new structure, formed from theruins of the old, was based on Dalís design. The museum is billed as the Worlds largest Surrealiststructure, containing a series of spaces that form a single artistic object where each element is aninextricable part of the whole. The museum houses the broadest range of works by the artistfrom his earliest artistic experiences to works of the last years of this life. Several works onpermanent display were created expressly for the museum.
Two wealthy American art collectors, A. Reynolds Morse and his wife Eleanor, who hadknown Dalí since 1942, set up an organization called "Friends of Dalí" and afoundation to put the artist on a more secure financial footing. The organization alsoestablished the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Salvador Dalí was born to be a genius. He memorized himselffor many generations for his eccentric view on art and life as a whole. He is the icon of surrealism, he made a great progress in this movement in art and earned the right to be called a genius, who had left behind a lot of mysteries for our contemporaries yet to discover.
Most famous pieces of art by Salvador Dalí The Metamorphosis of NarcissusDream Caused by the Flight of a Bee
The elephants Lobster Telephone Face of Mae West
Soft Self-portrait with Grilled BaconGeopoliticus Child Watching the Birth ofthe New Man Portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder
Still Life Moving FastPortrait of Picasso The Face of War
The Invisible ManLandscape near Figueras Galatea of the spheres