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Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí

(1904 - 1989)
Born: Figueras, Spain
Style: Surrealism
Famous Works:
  • The Persistence of Memory (1931)
  • Geopolitical Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943)
  • Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)
Perhaps the most eccentric of the Surrealists, Salvador Dali combined the technical expertise of the Renaissance masters with the subject matter of the Surreal, forging a body of work that is rivaled only by his own exploits and outlandish behavior. Salvador Dali demonstrated considerable natural talent in the arts when he was just a boy. The young Spaniard enrolled in drawing school, completed many drawings in charcoal, and even had a public show by the age of fifteen. While attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, beginning in 1922, Dali began to create the kind of stir that would become typical. His peers were at once impressed by his art and confounded by his bizarre fashion sense. Dali was kicked out of the Academy in 1926, refusing to take his final exams on the grounds that he was more knowledgeable than his examiners, but his time in school was not without merit. Dali had refined his talents and explored many styles of painting, including Cubism. 1929 was a busy year for Dali, marking his formal association with the Parisian Surrealists and participation in several exhibitions. That same year, Dali collaborated with filmmaker Luis Buñuel, whom he had befriended at the Academy in Madrid, to create what is now considered a revolutionary film, Un Chien Andalou. Perhaps most importantly, Dali met Gala, who would serve as his wife and inspiration for life. In the following years Dali created many famous works, gaining exposure throughout the art world, including New York City. As his artistic contributions to Surrealism continued to grow, so too did his reputation for unpredictable behavior. Salvador Dali's relationship with the Surrealists became increasingly tense, and he was expelled from the group in 1934. Dalí was a master of self-promotion, developing a reputation for painting images full of scandalous and erotic images. He relied upon his technical bravado and multi-layered symbols to convey ambiguous "dream" spaces. Dali produced a massive body of work during his life, including paintings, sculpture, film, writings, and even innovative installations. Salvador Dali died in 1989 in his hometown of Figueres, leaving behind a career that places him among the most important, and certainly most polarizing artists of the 20th century
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