“Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.” – Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), commonly known as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain.
Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. The piece’s hallmark “soft watches” suggest Einstein‘s theory that time is relative and not fixed; the idea for clocks functioning symbolically in this way came to Dalí when he was staring at a runny piece of Camembert cheese on a hot day in August.
Other recurring images in his works include elephants and eggs. The elephants first appeared in 1944′s Dream Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. They were inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculpture base in Rome of an elephant carrying an ancient obelisk, portrayed “with long, multijointed, almost invisible legs of desire”. Coupled with the image of their brittle legs, these encumbrances, noted for their phallic overtones, create a sense of phantom reality. The egg is another common Dalíesque image, and it appears in The Great Masturbator and The Metamorphosis of Narcissus. He connects the egg to the prenatal and intrauterine, thus using it to symbolize hope and love. Other symbols and their meanings include: ants that point to death, decay, and immense sexual desire; snails that are connected to the human head (he saw a snail on a bicycle outside Freud’s house when he first met Sigmund Freud); and locusts which represent waste and fear.
He attributed his “love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to a self-styled “Arab lineage”, claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors. He was highly imaginative, and also had an affinity for partaking in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork — to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem and to the irritation of his critics. (WIKIPEDIA)
“Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums.” – Salvador Dalí