Dali & Surrealism


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Speech at Kennesaw State University (Georgia, USA), celebrating the Year of Spain for the Visiting Teachers' program, Ministry of Education of Spain (MECD) in 2004. I had the pleasure to deepen in a topic I love.

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Dali & Surrealism

  1. 1. 1 Dalí and Surrealism Lluís Figueras, Visiting Teachers Program, Ministry of Education/Embassy of Spain Kennesaw State University (Georgia, USA)
  2. 2. 2 What do you recall when thinking of Dalí? What do you know about Dalí? ü His moustache ü Gala ü His paintings ü His work ü His costumes ü His museum ü His films & books ü His double images
  3. 3. 3 Contents •  History of Surrealism •  Dalí’s family •  Testimonies about him •  The Paranoiac critical method •  Gala, his muse •  His work and his life •  His museum •  His last years
  4. 4. 4 What is Surrealism? •  A movement in literature and the visual arts. •  Founded in 1924 in Paris by André Breton. •  Believed that logic had failed humankind. •  Turned to the unconscious and dreams in an attempt to transcend the boundaries of reason. •  Influenced by the writings of Freud. •  Dedicated their movement to express the imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason.
  5. 5. 5 The Surrealist group The Surrealist group in 1930: from left to right…Tzara, Eluard, Breton, Arp, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst and Man Ray
  6. 6. 6 Important Surrealist artists (painters) •  Dalí •  Max Ernst •  Ives Tanguy
  7. 7. 7 ‘Rendez-vous des amis’ by Max Ernst
  8. 8. 8 Dalí’s family members •  His father •  His mother (?) •  His sister •  His dead brother The entire family in 1910
  9. 9. 9 Dalí’s quotes… •  “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since." Dalí at the Age of Six, 1950 , 27 x 34 cm - Comte Francois de Vallombreuse Collection, Paris - Napoleon Bust
  10. 10. 10 Important facts in his life: •  He was baptized with the same Christian name as his brother, who had died of meningitis at the age of seven. •  This situation turned him into a substitute and charged him with the duty of living for his dead brother and it was cited by Dalí as the cause of his egocentricity. Dalí at 8
  11. 11. 11 Dalí about his brother… •  “In being born I followed in the footsteps of my adored dead brother, who they continued to love through me[…]. As happened in the myth of Castor and Pollux, by killing my brother within myself I gained my permanent immortality.” Portrait of my dead brother, 1963
  12. 12. 12 Dalí’s family…HIS FATHER •  Salvador Dalí Cusí (Sr). •  A prestigious notary. •  Very influential in his son. •  Difficult relationship between them. 1925 Dalí and his father, 1948 Portrait of his father 1921
  13. 13. 13 Dalí about his mother… •  …Felipa Doménech, a lady who loved arts and died, suddenly, in 1921. •  Just as he was painting this canvas, found a religious chromolithograph on which he wrote: “Sometimes, I spit for pleasure on my mother’s portrait.” “one can love one's mother and still dream that one spits upon her, and even more, in many religions, expectoration is a sign of veneration; now go and try to make people understand that!" Lugubrious Game, 1929
  14. 14. 14 His sister: Anna Maria •  Dalí's sister were very close, especially after their mother's death, when she took on the role of mother. •  Anna Maria was the only female model he used til Gala replaced her in 1929. Portrait of Anna Maria, 1925 Dalí and his sister, 1925
  15. 15. 15 His sister: Anna Maria •  In 1949, she wrote an autobiography that portrayed a different view of Dalí, this led to the collapse of their relationship. •  In revenge for Anna Maria's disloyalty, Dalí painted another version of this Figure at a Window … Girl at the window (1925) 103 x 75 cm
  16. 16. 16 His sister: Anna Maria •  …in 1954 and called it “Young Virgin Autosodomized by her Own Chastity”.
  17. 17. 17 His studies in Madrid… La Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando •  First time in Madrid in September 1922. •  He lives in the Hall of Residence. •  He meets Buñuel and Lorca. •  Expelled in 1924 and imprisoned for riots. •  Second suspension in 1926.
  18. 18. 18 Testimonies about Dalí •  “Pure rose that washes away artifices and sketches / and opens the tenuous wings of smiles. / Salvador Dalí / of the olive voice! / I say what your character and your painting tell me.” (Federico Garcia Lorca, Ode to Salvador Dalí)
  19. 19. 19 Testimonies about Dalí •  “Dalí has given Surrealism an instrument of the 1st order, namely the Paranoiac Critical Method, which he has shown himself able to apply to painting, poetry, cinema, the construction of Surrealist objects, fashion, sculpture, the history of art and, if necessary, to any sort of exegesis.” (André Breton)
  20. 20. 20 Dalí’s quotes… •  "It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself." •  "Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism - Money is a glory."
  21. 21. 21 Avida $$$$$ (Dollars) •  Nickname used by Breton. •  Dalí loved money, but was generous and always invited. •  Unfortunately, he paid to have ´friends´.
  22. 22. 22 The Paranoic-critical method •  Active character applied to all renges of arts. •  DTs experiences. •  Double images. •  The conventional vision of reality is altered. Swans reflecting elephants, 1938
  23. 23. 23 The Paranoic-critical method •  “It is the spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the interpretative-critical association of the phenomenon of delirium.” Mediumnistic Paranoiac image, 1935
  24. 24. 24 Dalí’s quotes… •  "The world will admire me. Perhaps I'll be despised and misunderstood, but I'll be a great genius, I'm certain of it." •  "When I was five years old I saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. Through the holes in its anatomy one could see the sky. Every time I wish to attain purity I look at the sky through flesh."
  25. 25. 25 Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí •  “Every morning when I wake up, I feel a supreme pleasure at being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself in astonishment what remarkable things this Dalí might do today.” (Diary of a Genius) Dalí at the Zoo in Paris
  26. 26. 26 Dalí and his work •  He used to work more than 10 hours a day. •  His studio in Port Lligat was his prison. Port Lligat in 1930 Dalí’s house in Port Lligat
  27. 27. 27 Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí •  “Even I, as I paint, don’t understand the meaning of my paintings, but it doesn’t follow that they have no meaning: in fact their meaning is so profound, complex, coherent and involuntary that it escapes the simple analysis of logical intuition.” (The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí)
  28. 28. 28 Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí •  “There are two important things that can happen to a contemporary painter: to be Spanish, and to be called Gala Salvador Dalí”. (The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí)
  29. 29. 29 Testimonies about Dalí •  “I wanted Dalí for the cutting edges of his paintings – very similar, certainly, to those of de Chirico – for his long shadows, the infinite alienation, the receding line, which meets in infinity, the formless faces. Of course he also invented very strange things that could not be realized.” (Alfred Hitchcock)
  30. 30. 30 Dalí about him… •  “The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad!” Playboy Magazine, 1963
  31. 31. 31 Dalí about Glory… •  “I enjoy the glory which I have been given, and which is enhanced by the great media of collective idioticisation. But the word glory is not the only the desire to be an admired public personality. The glory of Christ is not that Jesus won the Nobel Prize but his revelation of the glorious body. I want to become a glorious body, a real and incorruptible plot of substance.”
  32. 32. 32 PAINTERS TECHNIQUE COLOR THEME GENIUS COMPOSITION ORIGINALITY MYSTERY AUTHENTICITY LEONARDO DA VINCI 17 15 19 20 18 19 20 20 MEISSONIER 5 1 3 0 1 2 17 18 INGRES 15 11 15 0 6 6 10 20 VELÁZQUEZ 20 20 19 20 20 20 15 20 BOUGUEREAU 11 1 1 0 0 0 0 15 DALÍ 12 10 17 19 18 17 19 19 PICASSO 9 9 18 20 16 7 2 7 RAFFAELO 19 18 20 20 20 20 20 20 MANET 3 6 4 0 4 5 0 14 VERMEER 20 20 20 20 20 19 20 20 MONDRIAN 0 0 0 0 1 ¼ 0 3,5 Some painters graded according to Dali’s thoughts
  33. 33. 33 Vermeer influence? The Ghost of Vermeer which can be used as a table, 1934 Dalí with his back to the viewer painting Gala rendered eternal by 6 virtual corneas temporarily reflected by 6 real mirrors, 1972
  34. 34. 34 Dalí and the Arts: Music •  In his texts, it was very clear that in his daily life he showed great contempt about music. •  In Port Lligat, he was used to listening Tristan e Isolda , but he really enjoyed the ´scratch´ on the surface of the record.
  35. 35. 35 Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí •  “The two most powerful driving forces behind the refined artistic brain of Salvador Dalí are first the libido, or the sexual instinct, and second the anguish of death.” (Diary of a Genius) Visage of War, 1940 “Not a single minute of my like passes without the sublime Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman specter of death accompanying me even in the least important of my most subtle and capricious fantasies."
  36. 36. 36 The Enigma of Hitler, 1940
  37. 37. 37 Gala and the Surrealist artists Why were Surrealist artists so attracted to her…? Gala and Dalí 1930Gala and Eluard Gala and Max Ernst
  38. 38. 38 DALI – GALA INTERACTION a mutual duality? Dalí Gala Her lovers Her influence Her background Her admirers Her past life His sickness His eccentricity His fears His world His glamour
  39. 39. 39 Dalí about Gala… •  “…for her, inebriated with the desire to draw her gaze, I anointed myself with fish paste and goat excrement, I adorned my neck with a pearl necklace and my ear with a jasmine. When I found myself before her, I was unable to speak to her, shaken as I was by an attack of demented laughter, cataclysm, fanaticism, abyss, terror.” (Life of a Genius)
  40. 40. 40 Gala’s facts •  Helena Ivanovna Diakonova •  At 19, she meets Eluard & marries him. •  Meets Dalí at Cadaques on August 1929. •  Physically, she had tough features. •  Delicate health.
  41. 41. 41 Gala’s facts •  Dalí declares his love for her & he’s disinherited. •  Gala was considered sly, mean and unsatisfied. •  She had a scandalous sexual life.
  42. 42. 42 Gala’s facts •  In 1931, she’s diagnosed a tumour in her genitals and becomes sterile. •  Only understood French (?) •  1st marriage with Dalí in 1934 in Paris. •  Religious wedding in 1958, in Girona. The Bleeding Roses, 1931
  43. 43. 43 Painting Gala… •  “I like women with an extremely thin waist and a big rear. That’s perfection!”
  44. 44. 44 Painting Gala…and The Angelus 1935 1934
  45. 45. 45 Masculine & Feminine aspects (by Oscar Tusquets, one of Dalí’s closest friends) Determination Realism Ability for business Meanness Imagination Waste Intuition
  46. 46. 46 The story of a rabbit… •  Once upon a time…there were some little tiny rabbits that, at the beginning of the summer, were rescued after being abandoned by their mother. Dalí & Gala took them home to save their lives. •  One night, they escaped from their basket, which was on the table of the kitchen, fell down and only one survived. From that moment on, they even took extra care with him.
  47. 47. 47 The story of a rabbit… •  The little rabbit grew up, had a name, knew them, slept in their bed, ate with them. •  But the Fall season arrived and, as usual, they were heading to Paris and later to New York. Gala and him realized that they couldn't take him with them… •  The service staff offered their help to take care of him during the winter. •  But the eve before leaving, Gala was absolutely convinced they couldn’t abandon such a loving creature so many months and, the only solution was…
  48. 48. 48 The story of a rabbit… _________________________ •  …to take it with them and get him to know some more French and American rabbits. •  …to kill him and bury him with the rest of his family, which had been buried in a special tomb for them. •  …to kill him, eat him, being dressed for that special occasion. Meanwhile the staff was sobbing.
  49. 49. 49 The story of a rabbit …very simple situation. Dalí wanted something more…
  50. 50. 50 The story of a rabbit… …not bad. It is a macabre situation, but not too macabre.
  51. 51. 51 Good choice! …can you imagine a better way to enjoy? Doing that, Gala just took to the edge, in a radical way, one of Dalí’s fixations, the obsession of humanity for eating, digesting and evacuating the most beloved things. Story adapted from ‘ Dali and other friends’, by Oscar Tusquets (2003)
  52. 52. 52 His hidden muse…Amanda (Louis XIV) •  Real name: Nanita Kalashnischkoff. •  Frequent visitor and his intimate friend. •  Discovered in a charity ball in NY (1965).
  53. 53. 53 His hidden muse…Amanda (Louis XIV) •  Astonishing blonde •  Babtised by Dalí as a ‘Borbon’ (a family of kings), compared with the French‘Sun King’). •  ‘Daughter’ of a model and a businessman, alleged Russian Prince.
  54. 54. 54 His hidden muse…Amanda (Louis XIV) La Momie Sardine de Nantes
  55. 55. 55 Dalí and the Skull, 1955
  56. 56. 56 The Dalí – Gala Foundation •  Created on 23 December 1983 at Púbol Castle •  It came into being in order to promote, boost, divulge, lend prestige to, protect and defend in Spain and in any other country the artistic, cultural and intellectual oeuvre of the painter, his goods and rights of any nature •  His life experience, his thoughts, his projects and ideas and artistic, intellectual and cultural works; his memory and the universal recognition of the genius of his contribution to the Fine Arts, culture and contemporary thought. •  Right from the outset, Dalí presided over and directed the Foundation in person. His death in 1989 opened up a period of transition
  57. 57. 57 Dalí’s triangle of life
  58. 58. 58 Dalí in America…New York •  Arrives by ship on September 1934 •  “Surrealism is myself”! •  They stay for 3 months "I like chops and I like my wife. I don't see any reason not to paint them together,“ was Dalí's reply to a journalist astonished by this picture. Portrait of Gala with two chops balanced on her shoulder, 1933
  59. 59. 59 Dalí in America…New York •  2nd visit on December 1936 •  Becomes one of the most popular artists in the city •  The scandal in the 5th Avenue (Bonwitt Teller Department Store) 1939 Cover of TIME Magazine, 1936
  60. 60. 60 Dalí in America…different locations •  They moved to America till the war ended. •  He and Gala lived in Virginia & New Hamphire. •  In California, in Del Monte Lodge Village. •  8 years later, they will return to Spain.
  61. 61. 61 Dalí’s years in his work: •  Early stages (1914-21) •  Impressionist / pointillism (1921-23) •  Cubism (1923) •  His sister as a muse (1923-26) •  His friends (1926-28) •  Surrealist years (1928-1950) •  Classical years (1950…)
  62. 62. 62 Early stages… •  Dalí’s 1st painting… Landscape near Figueras (Circa 1910) Self-portrait in the Studio, 1919 Es Baluard , 1918
  63. 63. 63 Dalí’s simbols… •  Putrefaction of the flesh, ants and flies •  Childhood / Adolescence traumas (sex), Lobsters •  Drawers •  Keys, fish, ties •  Vases •  Lion’s head •  Flying action •  Tables •  Stairs, sewing machine •  Cypress
  64. 64. 64 The Surrealist years: ü Freud’s influence ü Gala’s influence ü Religious years ü Science paintings
  65. 65. 65 Freud’s influence… Freud’s Perverse Polymorph (Bulgarian Child Eating a Rat), 1939 Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937 In 1938, Freud, 82, and Dalí, 34, meet in London for the first time
  66. 66. 66 The Religious years… The Madonna of Port Lligat (1st version, 1949) 49 x 37 cm Marquette University, Milwaukee
  67. 67. 67 The Madonna of Port LLigat… Detail, 12 x 8 ft, Collection of Lady Beaverbrook, New Brunswick, Canada The Madonna of Port Lligat (2nd version), 1950 144 x 96 cm
  68. 68. 68 The Religious years… Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) 1954
  69. 69. 69 The Last Supper, The Last Supper, 1955, 167 x 268 cm, Washington, National Gallery of Art
  70. 70. 70 Science paintings… •  Classical fascination with the atomic structure, and his religious background. •  Interest in perfect forms They represent his conviction that the basis of life itself was indeed a spiral. •  The Madonna face here is depicted in a state of nuclear fragmentation. Raphaelesque head exploding, 1951
  71. 71. 71 Science paintings… •  Mythological transportation •  Gala is Leda… •  …seduced by Zeus •  Dalí keeps facinated with physics •  Sense of ingravity Leda Atomica, finished, 1949
  72. 72. 72 Dalí and chairs… •  “The role of a chair is to be useful to make the decorative spectre to emerge instantly. The spectre is a style. The chair of the Popes, which borders on the living heaven and the electric chair, which goes deeply into the dead hell. A chair can be even used to sit down, but only with one condition: to be bad seated, to sit down incorrectly.” Hands chair, 1936
  73. 73. 73 Dalí and the Arts: Sculpture Dalí designed a lot of different sculptures, most of them based on classical masterpieces. Bust of a woman, 1933
  74. 74. 74 Dalí’s Sculptures Venus de Milo with drawers, 1937
  75. 75. 75 DESIGN: JEWELS •  Elements of his simbology: –  Cypress –  The Elephant –  The phone –  Diamonds –  Rubies –  Emeralds –  Saphirs
  76. 76. 76 Dalí and the Arts: jewels •  The jewels and their relationship with money had a special interest for Gala and Dalí. "The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant."
  77. 77. 77 Objects and jewels The persistence of Memory, 1941 Lobster telephone
  78. 78. 78 Dalí’s designs: Face of Mae West which may be used as an apartment, 1935. The lips couch
  79. 79. 79 Dalí and the Arts: Architecture •  He admired the Italian Rennaissance, Brunelleschi, Bramante and Palladio. •  He also admired the Baroque and Gaudí. Main entrance of his museum in Figueres
  80. 80. 80 Literature and cinema: his work •  100 articles •  Poems •  Two biographies: Ø The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (1942) Ø  Journal d’un génie (1954) •  One novel: Ø Hidden faces (1941) •  Essays •  Movie scripts Ø Un Chien Andalou (1929) Ø Babaouo (1932) •  Unfinished work…
  81. 81. 81 Double images (Optical illusions) Abraham Lincoln in Galavision
  82. 82. 82 Double images (Optical illusions) Paranoic Visage, 1935
  83. 83. 83 Double images (Optical illusions) Slave market with the disappearing bust of Voltaire (1940)
  84. 84. 84 Double images (Optical illusions) The Endless Enigma, 1938
  85. 85. 85 Double images (Optical illusions) The Image disappears, 1938
  86. 86. 86 Double images (Optical illusions) The Great Paranoiac, 1936
  87. 87. 87 Dalí’s double images •  The figure of the woman leaning her elbow on a night stand symbolizes the Spanish Civil War. •  The torso and the face of the female figure are made up of groups of Renaissance warriors, of condottieri, inspired by a combat of horsemen done by Leonardo da Vinci. Spain, 1938
  88. 88. 88 Mysterious mouth appearing In the back of my nurse, 1941
  89. 89. 89 Analysis of “The Persistence of Memory” •  How many different areas can you see? •  Which are those areas? 24x33 cm (1931)
  90. 90. 90 “The Persistence of Memory”
  91. 91. 91 “The Persistence of Memory”
  92. 92. 92 Another version… •  In 1954, in his Science and classical time, he paints “Desintegration of The Persistence of Memory”.
  93. 93. 93 The Great Masturbator, 1929 Madrid, Centro de arte Reina Sofía
  94. 94. 94 Castle hunting….Quemarçó(Vilajuïga). Quemarçó Castle (drawing), 1977
  95. 95. 95 A Castle for Gala: The Púbol Castle • Dalí chose this place for Gala to live…
  96. 96. 96 Dalí’s appearance Dalí's Moustache, 1950 - technique and dimensions unknown - - private collection - Cape Creus, 1955. Dali with the typical Catalan hat and as a shepherd. P.Halsman: Dalí, why do you wear a moustache? Dalí: “In order to pass unobserved."
  97. 97. 97 Dalí’s eccentricities… •  Greeting people. •  His relationship with the Media. •  His appearance and his shows. •  His language. Dalí in Cadaques, 1963
  98. 98. 98 What can an artist feel? What can you imagine in a dream? •  “The Butterfly Effect” (2004) ¡ “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (2004)
  99. 99. 99 Where to see Dalí?
  100. 100. 100 The Dalí Museum Figueres (Girona, Costa Brava)
  101. 101. 101 How to get there?
  102. 102. 102 The patio
  103. 103. 103 Dalí and his Cadillac “In the interior of this Cadillac is raining, and for this reason is full of escargots, because with the rain is easy to catch a cold..., and with a cold..., with a cold..., MOCS!, ! MOCS!”.
  104. 104. 104 Dalí’s last years •  In 1981, he’s awarded with the title of Marquis of Pubol. •  Gala dies in 1982. •  He stops painting. Gala & Dalí in 1978 Dalí with his last painting
  105. 105. 105 Dalí’s last years •  He suffers serious burns due to a fire in his room. •  He’s moved to Torre Galatea in the Museum. •  He dies on 23rd January 1989 •  He’s buried in a place he didn’t choose. The swallow’s tail, 1983
  106. 106. 106 A Chien Andalou (An Andalusian dog) •  Dalí and Buñuel directed this short film (16 min)
  107. 107. 107 A Chien Andalou (An Andalusian dog)