Salvador Dalí  

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"Although in popular culture surrealism is often identified with the paintings of Salvador Dalí, Dali was in fact expelled from the surrealist movement in 1939 for his far right-wing political sympathies."--Sholem Stein

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Salvador Dalí (May 11 1904 – January 23 1989) was a Spanish artist known for such works as Un Chien Andalou (1929), The Persistence of Memory (1931), Lobster Telephone (1936), and the Mae West Lips Sofa (1937).


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.


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.


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.

List of selected works

Dalí produced over 1,600 paintings and numerous graphic works, sculptures, three-dimensional objects, and designs. Below is a sample of important and representative works.


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.


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 research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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