Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech best known in his artistic name as Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist born on May 11, 1904 in Figueres, Catalonia Spain. Salvador Dali was an unconventional, introverted, and rebellious man who strove the shock of people by his unique, bizarre, and iconic works of art. He was a man who stuck with his ideas, he had no trouble expressing his opinions and what he felt.
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Despite that he tried to improve distinctive techniques of art such as Cubism, futurism, and Impressionism to name a few, Surrealism was what predominated his work which gave him worldwide recognition, popularity, and fortune. Masterpieces such as The Persistence of Memory, on 1931 and The Great Masturbator on 1929, were one of his main contributions towards his success in the art Surrealism industry. Dali tried to capture objects and situations with a vision without prejudice, which lent his works somewhat strange and extravagant. His paintings showed images with his dreaming full influence that materialized with his life itself.
Dali’s experience with art was shown in his younger years as a child, but his eccentric personality was always in the way which caused him troubled throughout his whole life. He had two siblings, a sister named Anna Maria and an older brother born by nine months before him. Salvador Dali was named after his brother past away. His parents will always tell him that he was the reincarnation of his death brother. Dali’s parents were strict, therefore he didn’t have the quiet pleasant childhood he expected. His father refused Dali to do art, on the other hand, her mother encouraged him to follow his passion as an artist. His teenage years didn’t show up so well when his mother past away from breast cancer which led Dali devastated. The first step towards his art career was joining college named Colegio de Hermanos Maristas, in Figueres, Spain. Salvador absolutely had tremendous talent in drawing but somehow his particular bizarre characteristic behavior declined his abilities to succeed in college. Learning from his emotional life, I perceived that Salvador Dali wasn’t satisfied with the whole idea of his parents comparing him to a reincarnation of his death brother. He wanted to be known as him and not by the shadow of somebody else. Later, having his mother die; the only person that believed in him as an artist, was truly a devastating disaster. This greatly affected him which led his introverted, rebellious and bizarre attitude against people and his surroundings.
Salvador was a man that followed his instincts and what he stud for, therefore in 1926, he decided to move to Madrid and pursue his art career in the Academia de San Fernando. He was recognized for his practices with cubism such as his 1927 painting apparatus and hand. (Surrealists and Surrealism, page 135). In this painting, I could already perceived how Dali began to use Sigmund Freud’s ideas about dream analysis in the way the female figures represent erotic thoughts from the apparatus. Dali later was expelled from the Academia for boldly stating that no one could examine his art work. Salvador realized that he had to gain control of his life and find his inspiration. He then made trips to Paris where he met Pablo Picasso who because of him, started creating his style of art which would later put him in the spotlight of fame and glory. He also let his mustache grow as an inspiration to the painter Diego Velasquez. Dali’s mustache was a reflection towards his unusual personality that would stay forever with him.
The next following year in 1928, Salvador Dali Associated with the Surrealist movement which was defined as the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. (Surrealist Manifesto page, 22). He discovered his passion towards releasing his most hidden thoughts and subconscious imagination now known as the most important surrealistic paintings such as The Great Masturbator, 1929, (dailipaintings.com, 2011.) and The Persistence of Memory, 1931 (Dali’s Optical Illusions, page 39). Just by looking at the title of The Great Masturbator, I could see that it had something to do with sexual content. The image seem randomized with a number of variety things displayed in the background like tree branches, desserts, ice cream, and a cricket. Looking closely, there is also the outline of a horse, and the sunlight that shines directly into the body. What I perceived from this painting is that Dali had an obsession with sex and perhaps his painting was the result of a wet dream. The persistence of memory shows the melting of clocks placed unfamiliar that describe the persistence of time in the eyes of a dreamer. Ants appear crawling on a left copper pocket watch which makes me think that is symbolizes the decay and death of life that nobody escapes from living. Dali’s art work themes seem to be categorized as sexual symbolism and ideographic imagery. He wanted to represent himself in the paintings because he characterizes not just as a surrealist painter but as a surrealist person that was difficult to understand.
Artist Salvador Dali was an icon that was the pure representation of the era of Surrealism, physically and in regard to art. His authentic bizarre personally and paintings was what caught the attention of millions of people. He was a man who wasn’t afraid of expressing his ideas which was why he was so drawn towards making art through a subconscious state. His art work was a reflection towards his authentic emotional life, and the creative potential he possessed.
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