Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989) was a Spanish Surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship and the striking and bizarre images in his work.
Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts at Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age, he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements.
He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings.
Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Catalonia in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his „nuclear mysticism“ style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism and recent scientific developments.
Dalí‘s artistic repertoire included painting, graphic arts, film, sculpture, design and photography, at times in collaboration with other artists.
He also wrote fiction, poetry, autobiography, essays and criticism. To the dismay of those who held his work in high regard, and to the irritation of his critics, his eccentric and ostentatious public behavior sometimes drew more attention than his artwork.
Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.
There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.
I do not take drugs. I am drugs.
Everything alters me, but nothing changes me.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.
You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life.
Great wine requires a mad man to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make it, and a lover to drink it.
The reason some portraits don’t look true to life is that some people make no effort to resemble their pictures.
Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.
The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.
You know the worst thing is freedom. Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity. You know, Dali spent two months in jail in Spain, and these two months were the most enjoyable and happy in my life. Before my jail period, I was always nervous, anxious. I didn’t know if I should make a drawing, or perhaps make a poem, or go to the movies or the theater, or catch a girl, or play with the boys. The people put me in jail, and my life became divine. Tremendous!
Many people do not reach their eighties because they spend too much time in their forties.
The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.
I think that the sweetest freedom for a man on earth consists in being able to live, if he likes, without having the need to work.
Young people need plenty of difficulties to achieve something…. If you receive a little money for this, a little money for that, everything becomes mediocre, and collapses ignominiously.
For me, love must be ugly, looks must be divine, and death must be beautiful.
It’s better to have loved and lost than do forty pounds of laundry a week.
I want to perceive and understand the hidden powers and laws of things, in order to have them in my power.
Whatever happens, my audience mustn’t know whether I am spoofing or being serious; and likewise I mustn’t know either. I am in a constant interrogation; when does the deep and philosophically valid Dali begin, and where does the looney and preposterous Dali end?