Uploaded by aim_low on May 07, 2002
Genius or madman? Salvador Dali has been referred to as both throughout the course of his seventy-eight-year career. One who has seen any of his artwork will uncertainly question the sanity of Salvador Dali. Dali is best known for his surrealist works and many consider him the most brilliant Surrealist of his time. But to understand the enigma that is Salvador Dali, one must take a look back into his childhood, his family, and his inspirations.
Salvador Dali was born in Figueras, Spain to father Don Salvador Dali y Cusi and mother Felipa Domenech. The year was 1904. The answering machine had just been invented as well as the first flat-disk phonograph. A remarkable new child’s toy had been created, and dubbed the “Teddy Bear.” In 1907, his sister, Ana Maria, was born. Dali, being the only young male in a female-dominated household, was pampered by his overprotective mother, grandmother, aunt, and nurse. All this attention was not enough for Dali, and he constantly sought ways to seek more. He frequently threw tantrums and would induce coughing fits on himself. He purposely would wet his bed to anger his father. Dali continued this until he reached the age of eight, when he discovered he could anger his father much more intensely by getting himself into trouble at school. By the age of 10, Dali stopped acting out so much, and began to show an interest in art. He produced his first painting. By the time he was 15, he had already set up his own art exhibition. In 1921, a 17-year-old Salvador Dali entered the Madrid Fine Arts School, hoping to fuel his interest in Futurism and Cubism. However, Dali was suspended for a year after urging all students to rebel against the school’s authorities. In 1926, the school decided to expel Dali for similar reasons.
In 1929, Salvador Dali developed an interest in Surrealism, and joined the movement. Dali began developing his method, which he eventually would name “Paranoic-critical” and describe as a “spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on critical and systematic objectivation of delirious associations and interpretations.” In the following years, Dali produced three paintings: in 1929 he produced ‘The Lugubrious Game’; in 1931 he finished work on the painting he is most well known for, ‘The Persistence of Memory’; finally in 1932 he produced ‘Surrealist Objects, Gauges of Instantaneous Memory’. Dali had created his trademark “soft watches” for...