Thursday, December 3, 2009

Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí, fully named Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí Domènech, was a Spanish surrealist painter, film-maker, photographer, and sculptor. He had a passion for all thing grandiose and enjoyed luxury. He often let his many eccentricities show in public in order to get recognition from his critics and peers. His most famous work is titled The Persistence of Memory (La persistencia de la memoria)

Dalí was born in 1904 in Catalonia, Spain. His troubled childhood stemmed from the death of his older brother, who shared his name, nine months earlier. Dalí would state later that the tragedy overshadowed his entire existence. After proving himself unsuccessful in Catholic school, he found his passion for art. He drew inspiration from a variety of sources: From the classical masters of the Renaissance to the avant garde of his day. His work usually combined elements from both.
I chose to focus on Dalí for this blogpost because of his rich ties to Surrealism, something that I was completely unfamiliar with. My focus in my high school art was strict realism. But now I see how my perception of surrealism was skewed. Many of the artists that I have come across during my research all painted "realistically", it was just the settings that were fantastical and unreal. This was what ultimately drew me to Dalí's work.

The Spectre of Sex Appeal (1934)

This pieces comes from Dalí earlier years. Even though I find it a bit disturbing, it's still intriguing. The big, bold colors made it stick out to me. The female figure looks as through she is composed of meat and parts. She also has to be supported by wooden beams. I'm not completely confident in my knowledge of Dalí's feeling on women, but this painting seems a bit misogynistic. Yet it could also have another, less insulting meaning. The boy in the painting appears to be in awe of the figure. Perhaps Dali here is showing the impact of female sexuality that begins in childhood.

Geopolitical Child Observing the Birth of the New Man (1943)

Here the influence that the Renaissance masters had on Dalí is evident in the figure on the right. Even though the figure is warped, the musculature is still apparent.

Portrait of My Dead Brother (1963)

Something that struck me most about Dalí's life was the fact that he felt as though he were the reincarnation of his dead older brother. This piece reflects how he felt about that overwhelming realization. The portrait of his brother is done in a modern dots style while the rest is painted realistically. I love his color palate here: the light oranges, pinks, and blues portray a certain serenity; as though he had come to terms that his brother was always, and would be apart of his life.

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