National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – January 23 – Salvador Dali

0 Comments 23 January 2013

Folks,

Today’s subject – Salvador Dali. A true libertine.

Salvador Dali, pioneer of European Surrealism and for more than half a century one of the best-known and most bitterly contested figures in the international art world.

Dali found solace in controversy and, generally speaking, really pissing people off. He was a master of what was once called ”the aristocratic pleasure of displeasing”. And he did it with flare. While seemingly making sense out of the nonsensical when Dali hallucinated the whole world hallucinated with him.

Personally speaking, when I look at a Dali piece I’m left horrified, disarmed and always interested. He turned the world inside out, unlocked the labyrinth of the unconscious and spit it all over  his viewers face. And was thanked for it.

Precocious as a young man he entered the National School of Fine Arts in Madrid. He impressed immediately and also was a cause of great consternation by the school’s brass. In 1924 he was suspended for a year on suspicion of inciting the students to revolution, and in May of that year he served brief sentences in jail in Figueras and Gerona for antigovernment activities. Later expelled for the school he (allegedly) left a steaming poo on the administrations front stairs. Inquiries could not confirm that it was HIS poo.

Once fame was achieved he managed to continue to act like a complete wacko.

Asked to lecture, he turned up in a diving bell and insisted on speaking from inside it. Asked to contribute a three-dimensional object to an exhibition, he sent along a life-size taxicab inside which rain fell throughout the duration of the show. He specialized in the poetics of disquiet, and until well into the 1930’s he produced idea after idea that captured the popular imagination.

Sadly he took some weird turns later in life including – shockingly – a turn towards the church and some interesting choices with the copyrights to his original works. But I’ll let the obit take it from here.

Lets get it on!

Salvador Dali, Pioneer Surrealist, Dies at 84

By JOHN RUSSELL
Published: January 24, 1989

Salvador Dali, pioneer of European Surrealism and for more than half a century one of the best-known and most bitterly contested figures in the international art world, died yesterday at Figueras Hospital in Figueras, Spain. He was 84 years old. Continue

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.


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