Everyone can agree that there was just one Salvador Dalí . To say that he was unique would be an understatement as it seems that the very word “unique” came into the language with Dalí in mind. He would agree with that assessment, as he lived his entire life doing all he could to be certain no one thought he was anything but.
Dalí had a vast series of seemingly unending bursts of energy and creativity. He was frenetic in all he did, and he sought new areas to conquer each time he looked at anything. He was fascinated by almost everything. From the time most children learn to color with crayons, Dalí was painting with oils. Famously, he said, “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing ever since.” He quickly learned that teachers couldn’t provide him with what he desperately wanted: insight. He wanted the world but had to conquer it on his own.
Dalí would focus on whatever came to his mind. That meant not only oil painting, but watercolor and printmaking, landscapes and portraits, optical illusions and sculptures, Cubism and Renaissance, jewelry and botany, religion and movies. He was Julius Caesar: veni , vidi , vici . He came, he saw, he conquered.
The common thread to his uncommon life was Dalí ’s devotion to Surrealism. Even though he was eventually ex-communicated from the Surrealist group, he maintained the underlying constructs of Surrealism throughout his life. He said, “The only difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist.” It is important in trying to understand Dalí to know just what that meant.
Surrealism was founded in the aftermath of World War I. With nations collapsing, the world in ruins physically and financially, and the population utterly upended in as many ways as can be imagined, a group of people sought a different mode of operation that would lead in a vastly different direction. They reasoned that if rationality created the mess they lived in, then irrationality would be the antidote.
Rationality was never part of Dalí’s equation. What was unique to him was his “Paranoiac-Critical Method”. He entered into a trance-like state where he would allow his mind to be released from anything real and let it go wherever it pleased. He would then awaken and preserve his dreams and visions in art. His hero was Sigmund Freud, who postulated that humans repress truth in order to operate in society—and to be accepted by others. Casting off the shackles that bound his mind created a freedom otherwise unattainable.
Galerie Michael once again celebrates Salvador Dalí and his many accomplishments with a very wide-ranging selection of his artworks. There is something here for everyone, and our offerings range across his creative oeuvre and across the affordability spectrum. Please take a few moments to explore Salvador Dalí and agree with us that there is but one word that perfectly describes this man: unique.