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Salvador Dali

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Salvador Dali was born into a middle-class family on May 11th, 1904 in Figures Spain. In 1921 he entered the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid where he made friends with Federico Garcia Lorca, Luis Bunuel, and Eugenio Montes. He pursued his personal intersest in Cubism and Futurism. In June of 1923 Dali was suspended from the Academy for having indicated the students to rebel against the authorities of the school. He was let back in October of 1925, and a year later Dali was permanently expelled. In 1924 he was imprisoned in Figures and Gerona for political reasons. Dali joined the Surrealists in 1929 due to the influence of metaphysical paintings, and his contact with Miro.

Dali developed his method over the next few years. He describes his method as 'paranoic-critical, a 'spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on critical and systematic objectivation of delirious associations and interpretations.' Works he produced at this time include The Lugubrious Game 1929, The Persistence of Memory 1931, and Surrealist Objects, Gauges of Instantaneous Memory 1932.

Salvador Dali was the top Surrealists of this time. Surrealism explored the subconscious, the dream world, and irrational elements of the psyche in the belief that the discoveries to be made from such exploration would be of more fundamental importance to the human condition than any other form of social analysis.

Salvador Dali was very fascinated by the fleeting state of the mind between sleep and consciousness, dream and reality, sanity and insanity, as one in which the mind functioned purely, free from the constraints of logic and social behavior. He read psychological case histories, hoping to represent neuroses in an ultra-realistic style, objectifying the irrational with photographic accuracy.

In 1936, Dali began painting in a classical manner again, switching between Italian, Spanish and pompier styles.

Dali was very politically involved, and had some extreme opinions. He was fascinated with Hitler, and his relations with the rest of the Surrealist group became strained after 1934, breaking away in 1939 when he declared his support for Franco. He moved to the USA, living there from 1939-1948.

Dali held many one-man shows during his career. He directed and was a part of many films including the first surrealist film "Un Chiea A Dalou A Andalusian Dog", with the director Luis Bunuel. In 1945 he designed the surrealistic dream sequence for Hitchcock's Spellbound, and filmed Don Juan Tenorio, in 1951.

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