Salvador Dalí  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Salvador Dalí (May 11 1904January 23 1989) was a Surrealist Spanish artist and one of the most financially successful painters of the 20th century. His best known painting is The Persistence of Memory, hist best known objects the Lobster Telephone and the Mae West Lips Sofa, his best known film, An Andalusian Dog.

Contents

Dali and surrealism

During the Spanish Civil War Dalí remained apolitical, striving to comprehend the war in its minutiae. His surrealist fellows, being predominantly Marxist, eventually maintained his expulsion from this group, to which his fascination with Hitler contributed. At this, Dalí retorted, "Le surréalisme, c'est moi." André Breton coined the anagram "avida dollars" (for Salvador Dalí), which more or less translates to "eager for dollars," by which he referred to Dalí after the period of his expulsion; the surrealists henceforth spoke of Dalí in the past tense, as if he were dead. The surrealist movement and various members thereof (such as Ted Joans) would continue to issue extremely harsh polemics against Dalí until the time of his death and beyond.

Career

He was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking, bizarre, and beautiful images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Salvador Dalí's artistic repertoire also included film, sculpture, and photography. He collaborated with Walt Disney on the Academy Award-nominated short cartoon Destino, which was released posthumously in 2003.

Arab lineage

Born in Catalonia, Spain, Dalí insisted on his "Arab lineage," claiming that his ancestors descended from the Moors who invaded Spain in 711, and attributed to these origins, "my love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes." Gibson found out that "Dalí" (and its many variants) is an extremely common surname in Arab countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria or Egypt. On the other hand, also according to Gibson, Dalí's mother family, the Domènech of Barcelona, had Jewish roots.

Eccentricity

Widely considered to be greatly imaginative, Dalí had an affinity for doing unusual things to draw attention to himself. This sometimes irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed his critics, since his eccentric manner sometimes drew more public attention than his artwork. The purposefully sought notoriety led to broad public recognition and many purchases of his works by people from all walks of life.

Listing of selected works

Dalí produced over 1,500 paintings in his career in addition to producing illustrations for books, lithographs, designs for theatre sets and costumes, a great number of drawings, dozens of sculptures, and various other projects, including an animated short film for Disney. He also collaborated with director Jack Bond in 1965, creating a movie titled Dalí in New York. Below is a chronological sample of important and representative work, as well as some notes on what Dalí did in particular years.

In Carlos Lozano's biography, Sex, Surrealism, Dalí, and Me, produced with the collaboration of Clifford Thurlow, Lozano makes it clear that Dalí never stopped being a surrealist. As Dalí said of himself: "the only difference between me and the surrealists is that I am a surrealist."

The largest collections of Dalí's work are at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, followed by the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, which contains the collection of A. Reynolds Morse & Eleanor R. Morse. It holds over 1,500 works from Dalí. Other particularly significant collections include the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and the Salvador Dalí Gallery in Pacific Palisades, California. Espace Dalí in Montmartre, Paris, France, as well as the Dalí Universe in London, England, contain a large collection of his drawings and sculptures.

The unlikeliest venue for Dalí's work was the Rikers Island jail in New York City; a sketch of the Crucifixion he donated to the jail hung in the inmate dining room for 16 years before it was moved to the prison lobby for safekeeping. Ironically, the drawing was stolen from that location in March 2003 and has not been recovered.

Novels

Under the encouragement of poet Federico García Lorca, Dalí attempted an approach to a literary career through the means of the "pure novel". In his only literary production, Hidden Faces (1944), Dalí describes, in vividly visual terms, the intrigues and love affairs of a group of dazzling, eccentric aristocrats who, with their luxurious and extravagant lifestyle, symbolize the decadence of the 1930s.

Confessions




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Salvador Dalí" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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