Whether you are a fan of the eccentric Salvador Dali or not, most everyone agrees his work is brilliant in its scope and intense imagination. Salvador Dali started his life as a reincarnation of his brother also named Salvador. At the age of 5 Dali was taken to his brother’s grave and began to believe this strange tale as told by his parents. Thus influenced the thinking of the enigmatic and unique existence of the greatest surrealist painter the world had ever seen.
At the age of 10 Salvador Dali began to paint and at age 12 he received his first formal training by attending Municipal Drawing School. At drawing school Dali learned professional techniques of painting, drafting and engraving. At age 13 Dali had his first exhibition when his father, also named Salvador, put on a show of his in his charcoal drawings in the family home.
While his first art exhibition was a turning point in his life, Dali was also deeply affected by the death of his mother to breast cancer when he was only 16 years old. He worshiped his mother and said that her loss, “was the greatest blow I had ever experienced.”
Dali moved to Madrid in 1922 to attend the San Fernando School of Fine Arts where he first experimented in Cubism from which he received the most attention by his fellow students. Dali never finished his formal education as he was expelled shortly before graduation in 1926. His expulsion stemmed from stating none of the faculty was sufficiently skilled to judge his work. His famous Basket Of Bread painted around this time left no doubt as to the skill Dali had as an artist.
In 1931 Dali painted The Persistence of Memory which defines him to this day and is arguably his most famous work. In an exhibition in New York in 1934 Persistence created a huge sensation and propelled him to superstardom in the art world. The melting clocks debunked our rigid assumption that time is linear and connected Dali with Einstein and his later more scientific styled works.
Dali’s marriage to his long time companion Gala also in 1934 made this year one of the most pivotal in his life. He and Gala were inseparable and although Dali’s critics were at times dismissive of him because of his flamboyant and eccentric personality, Gala never tired of him. They moved to the United States and live here for 8 years ending in 1949. While in the States Dali returned to his Catholic roots and his art became much more reverent. Gala’s death in 1982 caused Dali to lose his will to go on and he died six and a half years later at the age of 84.
During Dali’s brilliant art career he painted more than 1,500 paintings, illustrated many books, produced a voluminous number of drawings, designed sculptures, was involved in designing theater sets, animated a cartoon for Walt Disney and was involved in many other projects too numerous to list.
As much as Dali is remembered for his art, he is also remembered for his strange and at times disruptive personality. His odd behavior can be looked at today as brilliant marketing. We might not have known of Dali’s art quite as much had he not had the flamboyant personality he so vividly displayed. His iconic moustache and wide eyed gaze were his trademark expression. His eccentric showmanship was displayed no greater than when he showed up at a lecture on surrealism dressed in a scuba suit while the guests were dressed in formal evening attire.
The personality of Salvador Dali is gone today, yet we still have access to his immense body of work in museums and private collections throughout the world. Two of the largest collections of Dali’s work are always on display at either the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Catalonia, Spain or at the Morse Museum in St Petersburg, Florida. In the minds of his fans and at these and other artistic venues, Salvador Dali will always be remembered.
Source by Alan LeStourgeon