The real name of the artist we know as Salvador Dalí, is Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech. The date of birth is May 11, 1904, and the date of death is January 23, 1989.
The surrealist painter is famous for his bizarre and striking imagery in his surreal works. His best famous work is ‘Perseverance of the Mind and he has finished in 1931.
Dalí was born in Catalonia and claimed in 711 that he came from the descendants of the Moorish conqueror of Spain. The ornate things, the luxurious life and the eastern outfits admiration according to the Dalí is connected to the his Arab origins.
Apart from his art, his offbeat clothing, behaviours and words have also attracted attention. Sometimes, even the admirers of his art, they did not like his status. The bad reputation of these behaviors has made Dali better be famous and it has increased the fame of his works.
Besides painting, Dalí was interested in sculpture, photography and filmmaking.
He has been made a short cartoons with American animator Walt Disney and its name was ‘Destino’. And this animation has been an Oscar nominee (2003) for “best short animated film”.
Dalí came to the world as the second child of the couple of Salvador Dalí i Cusí and Felipe Domenech Ferres. The couple’s first child, born in 1901, died of digestive tract inflammation nine months and ten days before Dalí’s birth (August 1, 1903). The couple gave the name of the their deceased children to their second child. The Dalí couple could not accept the fact that their first child died at a young age, and he was talking often about his dead brother, with the little Dalí. They went to the grave visit together regularly and there was a photograph of their children who died on the wall of their bedroom. This caused to Dalí’s identity confusion, on his mind. Later on, he would write about his brother, he had never known, “we were like each other like two water drops, but our reflections were different …”.
Dalí’s father was a hard and authoritarian man. His mother was loving and understanding, and she supported her son’ in painting. His sister Ana María was born when Dalí was three years old. He was the only male child in house and constant interest made him a spoiled and capricious character.
With the support of her mother, he signed up for a painting course (1914). In 1919 he opened his first painting exhibition at Figueres Municipal Theater. Her mother died of breast cancer in February 1921. About the death of his mother, in the coming years, he would write, “the greatest darb I took in my life, and I worshiped her…”. His father married his wife’s sister shortly after his wife’s death.
He moved to Madrid in 1922 and enrolled in the school there. Cubism and dadaism seemed to be influential in their first works. These new trends, originated in France and Switzerland, were not very common in Madrid. So Dalí’s works soon began to attract interest.
In 1923, he was temporarily suspended from school due to lack of discipline. The same year he participated in anarchist demonstrations in Girona and was arrested for. In 1925 he returned to the school. She opened her first personal exhibition in Barcelona. His paintings were met with appreciation and amazement by critics.
In 1926 he went to Paris and which met Pablo Picasso, whom he admired so much. Over the next few years, Picasso was always in Dalí’s works. Shortly after returning from his Paris trip, he was completely fired from school. He was taken as a soldier. In 1927, he finished his military service.
In 1928 he wrote the “Anti-Artistic Catalan Manifesto” with art critics Luís Montanyà and Sebastìa Gasch. This work defended modernism and futurism in art. In 1929 he took a short film of an ‘Andalusian Dog’ with his friend Luis Buñuel. This surrealist art gave them great fame in their circles. In the same year, Dalí went to Paris for the second time. Thanks to painter Joan Miró he met André Breton and Paul Éluard, the pioneers of surrealism. Éluard’s wife, Gala (her original name Helena Ivanovna Diakonova), attracted much interest from Dalí. In the summer of 1929 a passionate relationship began between Dalí and Gala. This relationship was concluded with marriage.
Dalí and Gala, who have lived together since 1929, married in 1934. In 1958 they renewed their marriage with a Catholic wedding.
In 1929 he opened an exhibition in New York, and this exhibition made a big sensation in the USA. Dalí once again got a big fame.
In 1931 he made his most famous work, Perseverance of the Mind. This work is also known as Soft Clocks or Melting Clocks. Dalí portrayed melting pocket watches, in front of a wide view of the beach. The work is interpreted as a protest against the notion of rigid and unchangeable time. Dalí later, told that he took this picture inspiration from a Camembert cheese which melted under the hot August sun.
In 1936, he was offered a speech at the London International Surrealist Exhibition, and he came out wearing an old model diving suit.
In 1937 he went to Hollywood and met the famous comedian Marx brothers. He wrote a movie script for them. In the summer of 1938 he met Sigmund Freud whom he admired in London. He painted several portraits of famous psychiatrist. Like all Surrealists too Dalí was following with interest the Freud’s writings on the subconscious.
When the Spanish Civil War, which began in 1936, ended in 1939 with the victory of General Francisco Franco, Dalí announced that he supported this newly established fascist regime. On top of that, the surrealists, who are mostly Marxist turned their backs on Dalí openly. Breton, the leader of the surrealist group, had said a sarcastic shape of the name of Salvador Dalí: Avida Dollars (Dollar enthusiast). Dalí replied, “Le surréalisme, c’est moi!” (Surrealism is me!). This cold war between the Surrealists and Dalí continued until the Dalí’s death.
Dalí and Gala, escaped from the World War 2, which affects almost all Europe. They settled in America and stayed here for nine years. In 1942, Dalí published his autobiography, with the name of ‘The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí’. In 1947 he painted a surrealist Picasso’ portrait.
Dalí returned to Europe in 1949 with his wife and moved to Catalonia where place of born. He stayed here till the end of his life. Dalí’s settlement in Spain, led by the fascist Franco regime, once again it caused the reaction of leftist artists.
In 1951 he published the ‘Mystical Manifesto’, which synthesized concepts of Catholicism and modern science. At the end of World War II, modern scientific concepts such as Catholic themes and DNA, hypercube (four-dimensional cubes) and atomic dissolution came to the forefront, in his work. He was very influenced by the atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima. Gave the name of “nuclear mysticism” to this period of his life. During this period, he also experimented with various techniques such as paint splashing on canvas, holograms, optical errors and stereoscopy in his works.
Dalí’s unique sweetheart, model, inspiration and his manager Gala is dead. Dalí lost his will to live after Gala’s death. After which he settled in Púbol Kalesi where his wife was dead and buried. He lived a lonely and quiet life here. In July 1982, King Juan Carlos of Spain declared Dalí the Púbol Marquis. Dalí gave a work named ‘Head of Europe’ as a gift to the king.
In 1983, the painting named ‘The Tail of the Sparrow’ in Púbol Kalesi was Dalí’s last work. In August 1984, Dalí was injured in an fire at home. Shortly after this, he returned to Figueres. He started to live in the Salvador Dalí Theater and Museum. He died of heart failure on January 23, 1989. He was buried of his in the Salvador Dalí museum’ cellar, in Figueres.
Throughout his life, Dalí has produced more than 1500 paintings and dozens of sculptures, various stone prints, book illustrations, theater decorations and costumes. He has worked with photographers such as Man Ray, Brassaï, Cecil Beaton and Philippe Halsman. Elsa Schiaparelli also worked with fashion designers such as Christian Dior.
The most of Dalí’s works are still in the Salvador Dalí Theater and Museum in Figueres.
And now there is Florida’s St. The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and the Salvador Dalí Gallery in Los Angeles have his hundreds of works of art.
The picture of the crucified Jesus, which donated to the Rikers Island Prison in New York in 1965, hung in the prison’s dining hall until 1981. Then, moved the lobby. In 2003, it was stolen by unknown people here.
The main inspiration for Salvador Dali, the surrealist representative from the most important artists of the 20th century, is the dream, fears and dreams. Has also been exhibited in too Istanbul (Turkey) with his works that direct the flow of painting art. Dali’s oil paintings, drawings and graphics were exhibited at the “Surrealist Salvador Dalí in Istanbul” exhibit, which is a comprehensive retrospective. Besides, such as pieces of manuscripts, notebooks, letters and photographs, was exhibited 380 works.