Salvador DaliThe Early Beginnings in the Life of Salvador Dali Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech was born on May 11, 1904 in a small town of Figueres, Spain. His father, Salvador Dali i Cusi was a respectable lawyer and notary; he was also a strict disciplinarian to his son. Dali’s mother, Felipa Domenech Ferres supported the artistic endeavors of his son. His parents told the young Dali that he was the reincarnation of his older brother who was born on October12, 1901 and he was also named Salvador. His brother died during infancy from gastroenteritis. Dali also had a younger sister named Ana Maria who later wrote a book entitled Dali as Seen by His Sister (Dali, 1). In one of his summer visits to Cadaques, Dali discovered modern painting.
Ramon Pichot, an artist and a close family friend became Salvador Dali’s mentor. In 1917, Dali’s charcoal drawings were exhibited at their home through the efforts of his father. His first public exhibition was held in 1919 in Figueres at the Municipal Theater (2). Upon the death of his mother in 1921, the sixteen-year old Dali was devastated.
He adored his mother who gave him the confidence he needed during his formative years as a young artist (5).Dali’s Move to Madrid and Paris In the year 1922, Dali was accepted to the Academia de San Fernando. People became fascinated with the eccentric young artist who dressed differently. However, it was Dali’s paintings that caught the attention of his peers with his experimentation with Cubism (www.
astro.com). Dali’s first book illustration was launched in 1924 in collaboration with the poet Carles Fages de Climent (www.
astro.com). Dali also became interested in Dadaism and later influenced his art works.
During his stay at the Residencia de Estudiantes he met and became friends with Pepin Bello, Luis Bunuel and the poet Federico Garcia Lorca (www.astro.com). In 1925, Dali had his first solo exhibit in a gallery in Barcelona; it included twenty-two paintings which received great reviews from the Catalonian art circle (www.astro.com). Paris was the center of the arts and intellectual development.
Dali decided to visit Paris in 1926 where he met young aspiring artists like himself. Upcoming artists from Spain at that time regarded Pablo Picasso as one of the greatest artists in that period. Dali was able to arrange a meeting with Picasso and the latter was impressed by a painting of Dali known as A Girl from Figueres (www.astro.com). In the same year, Dali was expelled from the Academia de San Fernando for neglecting his school obligations. When the school board asked him to take an exam, Dali refused and muttered that the school board was not competent enough to judge his works and this resulted to his expulsion (www.astro.
com).Surrealism The Surrealism movement was established after World War I. Surrealism concentrated in the world of fantasy and dream. The movement was influenced by the works of Sigmund Feud and Carl Jung.
The surrealist artists considered that the subconscious mind had the power over the reality of consciousness (www.dali.com). Dali used symbolisms in his paintings like in The Persistence of Memory, the soft watches implies Einstein’s theory of relativity (www.dali.com). The egg was a constant presence in his works a symbol for hope and love; it was seen in his two paintings, The Great Masturbator and The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (www.dali.
com). Different animals were also shown in his work, the ants represent death, decay and sexuality; the locusts were identified with dread and squander and the snail is associated with the human head (www.dali.com).
Dali’s Expulsion from the Surrealist Movement Salvador Dali felt that he could explore the limits of his art in the Surrealist movement. The members of the Surrealist group found Dali’s opinion and eccentric personality disturbing. Andre Breton, the leader of the Surrealist movement felt that Dali’s ideas no longer coincide with the group’s philosophy. The movement was also insulted when Dali painted Lenin as the deformed William Tell. For the Surrealists, Lenin was their hero and to portray him as a bizarre surrealist object was unforgivable. The final blow was when Dali designed advertisements for a company making tights and for the Surrealists they saw it as a capitalistic endeavor and soon they severed their ties from Dali (www.buzzle.com).
Influences in Dali’s Work Salvador Dali became a follower of Sigmund Freud; he subscribed in Freud’s theory of sexual representation, that vessels were feminine and that wild animals were masculine and this can be seen throughout his works (www.bbc.co.uk).
Dali was fascinated by Hitler and his fixation on him became apparent in his works like The Enigma of Hitler (www.bbc.co.uk). Gala, who was the wife of Dali, became the driving force in the painter’s life. She became his inspiration and her image was often seen in Dali’s portraits (www.bbc.co.
uk).Conclusion Dali has inspired many artists through the years to step out of the box and use one’s imagination and dream to create works of art that goes beyond conventionality. His works of art typifies the advancement of the 20th century and his legacy and legend lives on.Works CitedDali, Salvador. The Secret Life of Salvador Dali.
London: Vision Press, 1948.Ruberto, Marcy. Surrealism of Salvador Dali. 30 August 2008.
http://www.buzzle.com/ articles/surrealism-of-salvador-dali.html.Influences in the Life of Salvador Dali.
6 July 2001.http://www.bbc.co.
uk/dna/ h2g2/A585344.The Biography of Salvador Dali. 8 April 2009.
http://www.astro.com/astro- Databank/Dali,_Salvador.The Salvador Dali Society. 2008.