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Dali, A Misleading Man? by KC Moore Copyright 2010

September 30, 2010

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When you are known by one name, you are famous and famous for more than 15 minutes (think Andy Warhol).  Salvador Dali is rarely called by his first name, occasionally by both, but in conversation it’s just Dali.

I read that Dali held a press conference with reporters where he was standing with one foot in a bucket of water.  He was flamboyant, a showman, and interesting art personality.  I grew up without knowing anything about him.  However, his work fascinates me now especially how he changed subjects as he aged.  I understand in his later years he converted to Catholicism and his images turned religious and symbolic.

People have said that his work makes them feel uncomfortable, that is certainly understandable.  When you look at some of his work it feels like you are trapped in a dream state with forms morphing without your consent.  The colors lend some safety because I personally don’t find them challenging.  But it’s the mixed-messages, the mind-bending use of line that confuses some, but interests me.

I visited NY MOMA and bought a tie for my husband with Dali’s famous melted watch.  While I wouldn’t say he influenced my artwork, I can say I study his images.

Per the Webster’s Dictionary definition, surrealism is “an early 20th century movement in literature and art based on the expression of nonrational thought, and seeking to suggest the activities of the subconscious mind by use of incongruous juxtapositions of ideas or images.”  This is probably what intrigues me, the underlying story told with color and line.

Bobbi Baldwin, a fine portrait painter said you have to be a realistic painter in order to paint surreal.  That makes sense because in order to manipulate the mind, there must be some element of truth.

I ran across a video of Dali which belied everything I’ve read or heard about him.  He is a guest on a 1950s show called ‘What’s My Line’.  How does this line up with everything you’ve seen and read about him?

Watch this interesting glimpse of a controversial artist on video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXT2E9Ccc8A&feature=related.

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From → Famous Artists

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