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Salvador Dali Biography

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Salvador Dali

By: Jacob Rivera

Perhaps one of the world's greatest artists is the Hispanic artist Salvador Dali. He won

Many awards and became very successful in his work as an artist. And Salvador Dali is also one of my favorite artists of all time! . Salvador Dali, was born Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech at 8:45 a.m., Monday, 11 May 1904, in the small town, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, of Figueres, Spain, approximately sixteen miles from the French border in the principality of Catalonia. His parents supported his talent and built him his first studio, while he was still a child, in their summer home. Dali went on to attend the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, Spain, was married to Gala Eluard in 1934 and died on 23 January 1989 in a hospital in the town he born. Dali did not limit himself to one particular style or medium. Beginning with his early impressionistic work going into his surrealistic works, for which he is best known, and ending in what is known as his classic period, it becomes apparent just how varied his styles and mediums are. He worked with oils, watercolors, drawings, sculptures, graphics and even movies. Dali held his first one-man show in Barcelona in 1925 where his talents were first recognized. He became internationally known when some of his paintings were shown in the Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928. The next year he joined the Paris Surrealist Group and began his love affair with Gala, who became more than just his lover, she was his business manager, muse and greatest inspiration. Surrealism emerged from what was left of Dada in the early 1920’s and unlike Dada, a nihilistic movement, Surrealism held a promising and more positive view of art and because of this won many converts. It began as a literary movement in a Paris magazine. What they held in common was their belief in the importance of the unconscious mind and its manifestations, as was stressed by Freud. They believed that through the unconscious mind a plethora of artistic imagery would be unveiled. Dali’s personal life exhibited to his contemporaries and those who enjoyed his works after his lifetime the various influences that led to his artistry. During his childhood, his family life was difficult and yet helpful. His relationship with his parents was not benevolent. This had an extensive influence on Salvador and his artwork. His father opposed Salvador's chosen occupation. By the time the young wonder was twenty years old; his father had already disowned him. Both his mother and his father were embarrassed and disappointed by their son and his vocation. Not only did Dali have a traumatic childhood; he also found schooling boring and Monotonous. He disliked his early grade schooling most of all. He began at a small Christian school, but was expelled and sent to a larger middle class school. Even after disowning his son, Salvador Dali's father decided to pay for his son to attend the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts. Dali was quickly disappointed with the teaching at the Academy. He found that his teachers were just discovering novelties like Impressionism, which Dali had been reading about and practicing since 1920. While at the Academy of Fine Arts, Dali was expelled, arrested, and imprisoned for inciting riots because of a new teacher that Dali found to be unworthy of teaching him. During the 1930s, Dali's personality was a creative, offensive, and artistic one. These sides of his personality were most often shown to his Surrealist group. This group would meet regularly to discuss the principles, ideals, and practice of producing fantastic or creative imagery and effects in art and literature by means of unnatural juxtapositions and combinations. Dali’s uncongenial side showed through in a painting titled The Enigma of William Tell, which depicted Lenin nearly nude with a deformed buttock supported by a crutch. The group found this picture to be offensive because of the disrespect it showed to the proletariat. Dali’s obsession with Hitler also angered the Surrealists and made the group demand explanations of his works. Within the same time period, Dali managed to offend the International Exhibition of Surrealist Art by wearing a diving suit to a convention and almost suffocating himself in the suit

.On the other hand, Dali was also an achiever. He worked very hard on whatever he was doing to attain success. He collaborated with magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Town& Country. Dali also wrote books. His most famous publications of this time period were La Femme Visible and Conquest of the Irrational. He also wrote a small article titled "Minotaure", which explained the symbolic function of surrealism. . They believed that through the unconscious mind a plethora of artistic imagery would be unveiled. Both of these movements were also anti-establishment and they rejected the traditional Western Judeo-Christian beliefs and moral values and believed that reason and logic had failed man’s quest for self-knowledge. The Surrealists differed from Dada in one other, ideological aspect. The Surrealists believed that man could indeed improve the human condition, the major difference between the two movements. A few years before his marriage to Gala in 1934, Dali emerged as a leader of the Surrealist Movement. Although Dali was intrigued with the Surrealist technique of automatism, in which the artist with pen and ink let his hand move quickly over the paper and let their thought through to the paper without allowing their minds to control those thoughts, he had already laid his foundation for his own Surrealistic art in his youth through his paranoiac-critical method. This contribution of his was an alternate manner in which to view or perceive reality. It was no new concept; it could be traced back to Leonardo da Vinci and his practice of staring at stains on walls, clouds, streams, etc. and seeing different figures in them. Everyone who goes cloud watching uses this technique. Dali however gave this method a different twist. The result was a new, imaginative visual presentation of reality. By the forties, however, Dali began his move from Surrealism into what he called his classic era. This is the area I will be focusing on in paper when discussing several of his artworks. Just before World War II, Dali and his wife fled from Europe to the United States. They spent the next decade in the States where Dali went through a metamorphosis of sorts. He gave his first major retrospective exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and soon afterward he published his autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali. He began his series of eighteen large canvasses. One of the better known of these works is The

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