Rise Art insider, Katherine Mellor writes about the Illustrious Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí, on his 111th birthday.
“Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dalí.”
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) is world renowned as a figurehead of the Surrealist movement. He saw
his life as a work of art, and his eccentricities and flamboyances often became artworks in themselves. His imagination, curiosity and creativity were seemingly limitless - creating artwork in film, fashion, and design, as well as with sculpture, drawing and painting.
Dalí’s paintings fascinate with their technically meticulous style and surreal subject matter. His compositions often dealt with representations of the unconscious mind, and drew inspiration from psychoanalytic theory.
Dalí turned self-promotion into an art form. He derived much pleasure from the accusations of critics who argued that his work was gaudy, kitsch, and a deliberate provocation against the prevailing ‘good taste' of the Modernist movement. Furthermore, he was one of the first artists to allow mass reproduction of his artwork as posters to ensure they were accessible to all. This helped create a legacy which still influences artists throughout the world today.
Three things you may not know about Dalí:
- Fellow artist and leading Surrealist, André Breton, nicknamed him ‘Avida Dollars’ - an anagram of his name which poked fun at his conspicuous fondness for money.
- His famous moustache was inspired by that of iconic Spanish painter Diego Velázquez.
- At the opening of the London Surrealist exhibition in 1936, he delivered a lecture titled "Authentic Paranoid Ghosts" while dressed in a wetsuit, carrying a billiard cue and walking a pair of Russian wolfhounds.