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Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1989)


Also known as:  Dalí i Domènech, Salvador; Dalí y Domènech, Salvador; Dalí y Domènech, Salvador Felipe Jacinto; Dali, Salvador; Dalí, Salvador Felipe Jacinto; Domènech, Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí

Salvador Dalí (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989) was a charismatic and celebrated Surrealistic Spanish Catalan artist. Working across a variety of media, Dali’s work is characterized by a Surrealistic approach, with nods to Dada and an influence of classical painting. Dali was a consummate showman and gifted self-promoter. He seems to have come by his dramatic style honestly. His parents told him he was the reincarnation of his older brother, also named Salvador, who had died nine months before the artist’s birth.

In 1922, Dalí studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes. During this time he formed friendships with some of the leading artists of the day, such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Pepin Bello, and Luis Bunuel.

Dali then took Paris by storm, meeting Picasso, who had heard of the young artist through a mutual friend, Joan Miro. It was around this time that Dali created one of his finest sartorial masterpieces: his trademark thin upturned mustache. In 1929, Dali met his model/mistress/muse/wife/business manager, Gala, a Russian immigrant ten years his senior. This relationship sustained both for fifty years.

Dalí is famous for the sensuous, dream-like, and bizarre imagery of his artwork. He is best known for collaborating with Bunuel on the screenplay for the surrealist film Un Chien Andolou, 1920, the painting “The Persistence of Memory,” 1931 (whose inspiration was said to be a melting slab of camembert cheese), and the sculpture “Lobster Telephone,” 1936.

During WWII, Dali and New York influenced and inspired one another (1940-1948). Afterwards, Dali and Gala returned to Spain.

Dali passed away on January 23, 1989, leaving a legacy of playfully provocative artwork.

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