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A Trip into the Past to Discover What Made Salvador Dali

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All of Dali’s life he was troubled by numerous issues and complications however, he connected with these problems, and his paintings allowed him a way to express himself in ways, that when looked at carefully, many of us can relate to his childhood and his relationships had much to do with his artwork and through this, he was able to influence others as well, because the paranoiac-critical method was invented by Dali as a way for him to get out his inner emotions it was a way for artists to work through their obsessions by selecting and organizing particular objects on the canvas and the life of Salvador Dali was one of much eccentricity, but he was also one of the most influential painters of the twentieth century the story of his life is an extremely interesting one, and greatly inspired his artwork. (Salvador Dali, 2019)

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Dali’s childhood and his growing up process had a lot to do with the man he would become later in life. He had a brother who was born before him, who had the same name. He died of meningitis before the Salvador Dali we know was born. This would have an obvious psychological effect on Dali. It caused him to be very ambitious as he felt he needed to prove himself to his family. His deceased brother was very special to his entire family, and Dali always felt inferior to this “image.” Being the center of attention was always important to Dali. One year, when Haley’s comet was going through the air and his entire family was watching the sky, he kicked his sister because no one was paying any attention to him. Dali’s family was compromised of an increasing number of women, and his entire life he portrayed feminine attributes. The death of his mother at age seventeen traumatized him immensely. And to add to the shock, his father then married his mother’s sister. Before this, Dali painted gorgeous landscapes and portraits, but now he begins to paint his “tormented soul.” (The Art Story, 2019)

In 1921, Dali began to attend the University Residence of Madrid. There, he met friends like Federico Garcia Lorca (a famous poet). Lorca was gay and fell in love with Dali, who was immature sexually at this point in his life and scared of gay relations, but the two remained close for many years afterwards. One year after he started at the University, he got suspended a year. He was eventually expelled two years later for his problems with authority. He claimed that he was more qualified than the teachers and administration who examined him.

Dali was still painting at this point, and became very much interested in Freud’s theory of the unconscious (ego, superego, id) and dream interpretation, where he believed dreams were ways to allow our unconscious to express itself in disguise. Dali met Freud in 1938 and Freud was not very impressed with Dali. Rejection set in, and he started to move away from Freudian theories.

One of Dali’s friends, Paul Eluard, had a wife by the name of Gala, who Dali was enamored with. They started being together in 1929 and eventually got married in 1934. She cures his sexual desires and his sexual curiosity. She is everything that he wants and he became obsessed with her. She treats her husband horribly throughout their marriage, and near the end of her life, she locks him in rooms and forces him to paint to make more money. Dali can only see her with a “written request” and she takes on many boyfriends. Her death in 1982 after years of dementia left Dali absolutely devastated. (Anon, 2019)

While Dali was being influenced by all of these outside sources, he was also busy fronting artistic movements that would lead to greatly influence others.

Cubism was a movement that Pablo Picasso started in 1908, which tried not to predict depict images in the traditional 3D environment, but by showing them on 2D surfaces with overlapping and rearranged fragments. Dali never painted that much in this movement, but it significantly influenced his later works. (Surrealiste.net, 2019)

However, he was one the greatest movers of Surrealism in the twentieth century. Surrealism was an artistic and literary movement that began in 1922 led by the French poet/theorist Andre Breton. They attempted to bypass conscious willpower and let their unconscious take over their works. They wanted to promote a more positive way of thinking than the current bourgeois. Salvador Dali joined the movement in 1929, but by the late 30’s he was banned from the movement for his expressed interest in the phenomenon of Hitler, however he still proclaimed himself as a surrealist to the rest of the world.

The Paranoiac-Critical Method was invented by Dali as a way for him to get out his inner emotions. It was a way for artists to work through their obsessions by selecting and organizing particular objects on the canvas. (Library.humboldt.edu, 2019)

All of Dali’s life he was troubled by numerous issues and complications. However, he connected with these problems, and his paintings allowed him a way to express himself in ways, that when looked at carefully, many of us can relate to. His childhood and his relationships had much to do with his artwork and through this, he was able to influence others as well.

Would Salvador Dali be one the most celebrated artist of all time and deeply focus his paintings into surrealism without the influence of his dead brother to whom he thought he was the reincarnation?

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