Artist of the month: Salvador Dalí

Hello to all the art lovers out there! I finally have time to write about one of my current favorite artists. I have actually written my first seminar paper for uni about a project from Salvador Dalí. But let’s start from the beginning. 

In 1904 Dalí was born in a small village of fishermen in Spain. There can actually be found a lot of connections with the landscape of his hometown in his paintings. As a kid/ young man he started painting the rocks and sea of Cadaqués (small holiday village in Spain). At that time the artist was still inspired by Impressionists.

To be able to understand his art, it is important to mention some facts of Dalís childhood. He had a close relationship with his mother, who died when Dalí was only 17 years old. That terrible loss leads to the circumstance that Salvador starts feeling lonely and he has to face his severe and violent father.

At the age of 18 Dalí moved to Madrid to study fine arts. He began to develop a new eccentric persona. He was even expelled for telling all of his teachers that they weren’t good enough to examine his work of art.

Discovering surrealism, in his early 20s, would change Dalís life. But what was Surrealism?

It started as a literary and artistic movement, launched by the French poet André Breton. It began as a revolution in response of the devastation of 1st world war and it was also inspired by the psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund Freud. The Surrealists were fascinated by the idea of exploring the unconscious mind of human beings. Dalí discovered that putting inner desires, obsessions, paranoia and anxieties on canvas would be exactly what he wanted to do through art. Looking at his first Surrealist art works you will see a lot of strange and absurd objects, often put in a barren landscape. Death and sex were Dalís most important motifs. 

In 1937, Salvador Dalí visited Italy and during this trip he was able to experience many new art forms and creation pieces. His work took a turn, towards a more traditional and more academic style, in comparison to some of the earlier works he created as a surrealist painter. This change in his art form, along with the political beliefs which Salvador Dalí held, caused Breton to expel him from the surrealist art movement. Shortly after, in 1940, he moved to the US, where he remained until 1955, experimenting in this new style and technique, and with new design concepts which he had adopted while in Italy. 

While living in the US and working there, Salvador Dalí devoted much time, and much of his work, to the public, and self publicity. During this time, many of the pieces he created, revolved around religious themes and many distinct religious images. In 1955, Salvador Dali’left the US, and made his way back to Spain.

Although a majority of the works which Salvador Dalí created were paintings, he also created sculpture works, design in jewelry, he worked on illustrations for various fashion magazines and book series and he also did a series of works for different theaters, and different shows which were performed in the theaters.

Dalí was the showman of 20th century art, he created absurd dream worlds and influenced surrealism as a mixture of the bizarre and unexpected. 

 “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. ” (Salvador Dalí)

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dail18Dalí at Work; Dalí’s Dream of Venus (1939 World’s Fair, Flushing, NY)

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