DALI Salvador

Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí Domènech, better known under the name of Salvador Dali, was born on May 11, 1904 in Figueres, in Spain and died on January 23, 1989 in his hometown, where he created his own museum in 1974, the Gala Salvador Dali Museum theater.

Dali had a rather tormented life. He was the son of Felipe Doménech and Salvador Dali notary of Figueras. His father was considered an authoritarian man and was said to have caused the death of his older brother, also called Salvador, born in 1901 and died two years later.

He attended school in Figueres, and after graduating in 1922 Dali entered the School of Fine Arts in San Fernando, Madrid. Before that, he had already started his artistic career by publicly presenting his first paintings at a local exhibition. It was during his stay at the student residence of his school that he became friends with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca and the filmmaker Luis Buñel, with whom he carried out numerous artistic projects. Unfortunately, he was expelled from school for indiscipline in 1925.

Already influenced by Futurism and Cubism, he will be even more so by discovering Italian Futurists and Eugène Carrière and thus create Cubist paintings. It was at this time that Breton, with Picabia, Max Ernst and Man Ray, formed the first Parisian surrealist group. After returning to school, he showed interest in Cubism. In November 1925, his first solo exhibition took place at the Dalmau Gallery in Barcelona. Picasso and Miro then began to take an interest in his work. In April 1926, during his first trip to Brussels and Paris, he visited Picasso who was very impressed by the works presented.

Shortly after, Dali was definitively excluded from his school and his father was forced to support him and therefore to let him continue his studies in Paris. Dali begins to perform his military service in February 1927. At the same time, Dali realizes great, such as the great masturbator, the specter of sex appeal, Persistence of memory … Then he will also participate in the script of Buñel’s film (An Andalusian Dog). He will also be introduced to the surrealist group by Miro. Dali will fall in love with Helena Diakonova Gala, the wife of his friend Paul Eluard. Gali and Dali, during a short stay in Cadaqués, decide never to separate again. Thus, begins a great story between the two characters, who will never leave each other, and Gala will then become the model, the muse and Dali’s companion. She will follow him on all his travels, through Europe and the United States.

In 1930, he wrote, illustrated and published La femme visible, which he dedicated to Gala. Shortly after, he exhibited at the Galerie de Goemans in Paris, under the sponsorship of Breton, and obtained great success. He then asserted his reputation with his audience. But an event disrupts his life, his father drives him out of his house because he does not appreciate his relationship with Gala. Salvador would not see him again until 1948, when he returned from New York. In 1931 a new exhibition takes place in Paris which included one of his most famous paintings: The persistence of memory. This painting had a lot of success, especially in the United States, in Hartford, where it was shown at the first surrealist exhibition.

In 1934, he married Gala in Paris. Dali continues his exhibitions all over the world, in Paris, New York, London and Barcelona After fleeing the Spanish War in 1936, and settling in Italy, Dali visited Freud in 1938 in London. In the following years, Dali and Gali will leave Europe and settle in Virginia. He then worked for cinema, theater, opera and ballet. He produced many works during the 1940s, such as Soft self-portrait with grilled bacon, Basket of bread. He will also create jewelry in collaboration with the Duke of Verdura. But his creations displease Breton who denounces his “commercial” spirit. He was then excluded from the surrealist group. But later, Dali will then take an interest in photography and perfectly integrate the New York society. In the following years he worked with Walt Disney and illustrated three great works by Shakespeare including Comme il vous plaira. He settled permanently in Europe in 1948.

He will tackle other subjects such as the major themes of Western tradition, then religion, and launches out in the so-called optical art, constantly seeking optical effects and illusions. Dali continues to take an interest in other fields, such as advertising, and produced advertising posters for Perrier and Lanvin. In 1972, Dali, announces that he donates his works to the Spanish State. On September 28, 1974, Dali inaugurated his museum after ten years of effort.

Despite this worldwide success, Dali suffered from various disorders. Salvador and Gala were slowly recovering from an illness contracted during winter 1981 in New York. In addition, he was terrified of death and felt more and more isolated, his relations with Gala were constantly deteriorating, although she remained his source of inspiration. She died in Pubol on June 10, 1982 and Dali was very affected. Dali then retired in the castle of Pubol and continued his activity as a painter, which he abandoned in 1983. In the following years, he suffered from several heart attacks and died on January 23, 1989 at the Torre Galetea in Figueras.

Dali, was a great surrealist artist and did not stop being interested by various fields, such as cinema, photography, opera, sculpture, illustration… His gargantuan work and innovative spirit can be perceived throughout his paintings, sculptures, lithographs and etches.