Welcome to the World of Salvador Dali!

Welcome to the World of Salvador Dali!

пятница, 17 апреля 2009 г.

Small Bio

b. May 11, 1904, Figueras, Spain

d. Jan. 23, 1989, Figueras


As an art student in Madrid and Barcelona, Dalí assimilated a vast number of artistic styles and displayed unusual technical facility as a painter. In the late 1920s, two events brought about the development of his mature artistic style:

• His discovery of Sigmund Freud's writings on the erotic

significance of subconscious imagery; and

• His affiliation with the Paris Surrealists, a group of artists

and writers who sought to establish the "greater

reality" of man's subconscious over his reason.


To bring up images from his subconscious mind, Dalí began to induce hallucinatory states in himself by a process he described as “paranoiac critical.” Once Dalí hit on this method, his painting style matured with extraordinary rapidity, and from 1929 to 1937 he produced the paintings that made him the world's best-known Surrealist artist.

He depicted a dream world in which commonplace objects are juxtaposed, deformed, or otherwise metamorphosed in a bizarre and irrational fashion. Dalí portrayed these objects in meticulous, almost painfully realistic detail and usually placed them within bleak, sunlit landscapes that were reminiscent of his Catalonian homeland.

Perhaps the most famous of these enigmatic images is "The Persistence of Memory" (1931), in which limp, melting watches rest in an eerily calm landscape.

With the Spanish director Luis Buñuel, Dalí also made two Surrealistic films:

• Un Chien andalou (1928; An Andalusian Dog); and

• L'Âge d'or (1930; The Golden Age).

Both films are similarly filled with grotesque but highly suggestive images.


In the late 1930s, Dalí switched to painting in a more academic style under the influence of the Renaissance painter Raphael, and as a consequence he was expelled from the Surrealist movement.

Thereafter, he spent much of his time designing theatre sets, interiors of fashionable shops, and jewelry, as well as exhibiting his genius for flamboyant self-promotional stunts in the United States, where he lived from 1940 to 1955.

In the period from 1950 to 1970, Dalí painted many works with religious themes, though he continued to explore erotic subjects, to represent childhood memories, and to use themes centering on his wife, Gala. Notwithstanding their technical accomplishments, these later paintings are not as highly regarded as the artist's earlier works.

The most interesting and revealing of Dalí's books is The Secret Life of Salvador Dali (1942-44).

Dali’s private life. Gala Dalí

Gala was born Elena Dmitrievna Diakonova in Kazan, Russia, to a family of intellectuals. Among her childhood friends was the poet Marina Tsvetaeva. As a young woman, living in Moscow, she graduated as a schoolteacher in 1915. She possessed a great sensitivity for art and distinct physical and intellectual attractiveness. She was part of the surrealist group, many of which were in love with her.

She met Dali in the spring of 1929, at the time married with Paul Eulard. An affair quickly developed between Gala and Dalí. Nevertheless, even after the breakup of their marriage, Éluard and Gala continued to be close.

Dali's love for Gala, a woman 10 years older than him, exploded then; he realized numerous extravagancies to capture her attention; such as waxing his armpit and dying it blue, applying goat excrements upon himself and wearing a red geranium on his head. His emotion was such, that every time he tried to talk to her, he suffered uncontrollable laughing attacks.

During a stroll in Cabo de Creus, Dali fell on his knees laughing, he declared his love for her, and holding his hand Gala said "... my boy, let us never to be separated..." this would have given Dali a feeling of being divinely understood.

In his secret life, Dalí tells us: "...her body had an infantile complexion, scapula and lumbar muscles a teenager's tension, the curve of her back however, was extraordinarily feminine and gracefully joined the energetic torso with the delicate buttock, that her bee like shaping, made her even more desirable..."

Gala had a great influence on Salvador Dali's life and deed. She died on June 10, 1982. When the news was given to the painter, he said "...she is not dead, she will never die..."

The Paranoid Critical Transformation Method

Of all the Surrealists and their achievements, there is one that stands out above all the others. The Paranoiac Critical method was a sensibility, or way of perceiving reality that was developed by Salvador Dalí. It was defined by Dalí himself as "irrational knowledge" based on a "delirium of interpretation". More simply put, it was a process by which the artist found new and unique ways to view the world around him. It is the ability of the artist or the viewer to perceive multiple images within the same configuration. The concept can be compared to Max Ernst's frottage or Leonardo da Vinci's scribbling and drawings. As a matter of fact, all of us have practiced the Paranoid Critical Method when gazing at stucco on a wall, or clouds in the sky, and seeing different shapes and visages therein. Dalí elevated this uniquely human characteristic into his own artform.

Dalí, though not a true paranoid, was able to simulate a paranoid state, without the use of drugs, and upon his return to 'normal perspective' he would paint what he saw and envisioned therein.

Dalí was able to create what he called "hand painted dream photographs" which were physical, painted representations of the hallucinations and images he would see while in his paranoid state. Although he certainly had his own load of mental problems to bear, it can be said that Dalí's delusions and paranoid hallucinations did not totally dominate his mind, as he was able to convey them to canvas.

Being a painter of miraculous skill, he was capable of reproducing his myriad fantasies and hallucinations as visual illusions on canvas.

The Persistence of Memory (1931) Analysis

Many Dalí paintings is a direct reference to and result of Dalí's love of this mountain near his home. Even long after he had grown up, Dalí continued to paint details of the landscape of Catalonia into his works, as evidenced by The Persistence of Memory.
The picture shows a typical Dalínian landscape, with the craggy rocks of his beloved Cape Creus jutting up in the background. In the foreground, a sort of amorphous self portrait of Dalí seems to melt. Three Separate Melting Watch images even out the foreground of the work. The melting watches literally meant to show the irrelevance of time.
When Dalí was alone with Gala and his paintings in Cape Creus, he felt that time had little, perhaps no significance for him. His days were spent eating, painting, making love, and anything else he wanted to do. The warm, summery days seemed to fly by without any real indication of having passed.
One hot August afternoon, in 1931, as Dalí sat at his work bench nibbling at his lunch, he came upon one of his most stunning paranoiac-critical hallucinations. Upon taking a pencil, and sliding it under a bit of Camembert cheese, which had become softer and runnier than usual in the summer heat, Dalí was inspired with the idea for the melting watches. They appear often throughout Dalí's works, and are the subject of much interest. In short, this particular work, is an important referral back to Dalí's Catalan Heritage, that was so very important to him.

Sleep (1937) Analysis

Sleep was painted for Edward James, a British millionaire who was Dalí's patron from 1936 to 1939. Sleep deals with a subject that fascinated the Surrealists: the world of dreams. They believed that the freedom of the subconscious within sleep could be tapped into and then used creatively.
Sleep is a visual rendering of the body's collapse into sleep, as if into a separate state of being. Against a deep blue summer sky, a huge disembodied head with eyes dissolved in sleep, hangs suspended over an almost empty landscape. The head is "soft", appearing both vulnerable and distorted; what should be a neck tapers away to drop limply over a crutch. A dog appears, its head in a crutch, as if half asleep itself.
The head is propped above the land by a series of wooden crutches. The mouth, nose and also the eyes are all held in place by the crutches, suggesting that the head might disintegrate if they were removed. Crutches were a familiar sight in Dalí's work. In The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, the artist wrote that he had imagined sleep as a heavy monster that was "held up by the crutches of reality".

One Second Before Awakening from a Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate (1944) Analysis

The full title explains the subject and content of the painting, which was taken from a dream that Gala reported to Dalí. He announced that this painting was the first illustration of Freud's discovery, that external stimuli could be the cause of a dream.
The catalyst for the dream, which is the pomegranate, hangs in the air with the bee flying toward it. Behind the pomegranate Gala's dream unfolds over a sea of brilliant blue. A naked Gala lies asleep as she hovers over a stone; an allusion to the common floating feeling that can occur in dreams.
To the left of Gala is a huge pomegranate that spills seeds on to the sea below. Out of the pomegranate an angry, pink fish is emerging with a wide open mouth. A snarling tiger leaps out of the fish. From this tiger another emerges, its tail in the mouth of the previous one. The tigers are rushing toward Gala, their claws at the ready, but it is the bayonet, mirroring the sting of the bee, that will wake her.

Swans Reflecting Elephants (1937) Analysis

Swans Reflecting Elephants contains one of Dalí's famous double images. The double images were a major part of Dalí's "paranoia-critical method". Dalí used this method to bring forth the hallucinatory forms, double images and visual illusions that filled his paintings during the Thirties.
Swans Reflecting Elephants uses the reflection in a lake to create the double image seen in the painting. The three swans in front of bleak, leafless trees are reflected in the lake so that the swans' heads become the elephants' heads and the trees become the bodies of the elephants.
In the background of the painting is a Catalonian landscape depicted in fiery fall colors, the brushwork creating swirls in the cliffs that surround the lake, to contrast with the cool stillness of the water.


Dali in advertising

Dali Universal Tarot. Salvador Dali, artwork 1984

This 78-card Tarot deck is by the surrealist painter Salvador Dali. His renowned flamboyance can be seen in the way he has added his abstract signature onto the cards, incorporating them into each design. The deck was published by Distribucions d’Art Surrealista and Comos Naipes of Spain in 1984, the year of Dali’s eightieth birthday.

Given Dali’s own talents, it is surprising that this deck consists of collage compositions which incorporate the works of other artists. Dali adds his own touch to each design by using washes of color and semi-abstract shapes. In some cases, these forms seem strangely inconsistent with the rest of the artwork; in other cases, his additions create something new and homogenous. For example, Dali adds a very simplistic figure next to a detailed painting in The Fool. His version of The Heirophant, however, is much more attractive even though he adds only a simple green background and painted halos.

The Dali Universal Tarot is a comparatively expensive deck, although its packaging was given special attention by the publishers: the cards themselves are edged in gold foil and the sturdy box which hold the cards is encased in a burgundy velvet slipcase. The deck can currently be purchased from several online bookstores.

Chupa Chups Logo

Do you know that Chupa Chups logo was designed by the famous surrealist Salvador Dali in 1969?

The logo hasn't been changed since that time. This 38 year old logo looks modern, up to date and is much better than many modern logos. This proves that Salvador Dali was a genius and was able to create not only great art but a brilliant logo too.

For inspiration visit:

Biographies and news

Dalí's surreal wind-powered organ lacks only a rhinoceros
Salvador Dalí: a Genius?—Article from Bohème Magazine
UbuWeb: Salvador Dalí—Interview and bank advertisement.
Biography and paintings of Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí in the INA Archives — A collection of interviews and footage of Dalí in the French television
Dali’s life and work
on-line museum
http://dali.urbannet.ru/ - Dali's site

Other links

Article on Dalí's religious faith
The Salvador Dalí photo library 60.000 photos
Watch Un Chien Andalou at LikeTelevision
Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation English language site
St. Petersburg Dalí Museum
"The shameful life of Salvador Dalí" (the witches of Llers)".
Dalí and Fages: "that intelligent and most cordial of collaborations"
Dalí's only literary work, "Hidden Faces"


Espace Dalí—The unique permanent exhibition in France (Museum & Dalí Fine Art Galleries)
Dalí & Film - Tate Modern, London
Museum-Gallery Xpo: Salvador Dalí, Marquis de Púbol in Bruges
Museum of Modern Art