It is said that Salvador Dali, who is mostly recognized for his skills as a surrealist painter, is perhaps the most prominent and highly esteemed artist of the past century. However, few people recognize his role in cinema and photography. Influenced by his Renaissance masters, Dali’s artistic works are distinguished by elaborate draftsmanship and realistic detail, with sparkling color intensified by clear shiny finishes.
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Secrets of distortion and struggles of misery as well as suspicion cloud most of his pieces of work. This results in a state of suspended grace that is a recognizable scene for those who are accustomed with his paintings. Dali was highly imaginative and his eccentric manner of painting earned him worldwide attention.
He was born on May 11, 1904 in the town of Figure, Spain, and the memories during his childhood and adolescent largely shaped his imaginations during his career as an artist (Ross and Dali, 5). Dali’s cordial association with members of his family played a critical role in shaping his artistic personality in future.
He started participating in drawing classes early in life. At twelve years of age, he found out about modern painting while on a summer vacation and thereafter his dad arranged for a display of his charcoal pictures at their family home. Besides the memories of his early life, he was also highly affected by the works of the theorist, Sigmund Freud. For example, reading Freud’s book, Interpretation of Dreams, revealed to him the ability of art to discover subconscious desires.
This made him to think that the reality of the subconscious inclinations, which normally appear exceedingly brutal to our consciousness, is another reason for those who esteem the truth to reveal it plainly without fear. From this early life of Dali, I have come to learn that our childhood plays a very crucial role in our future lives and that cordial relationship with the family members equally plays a significant role.
In 1929, Dali joined the Surrealist art movement who based their works in Freud’s theories that the unconscious was a wellspring of imagination (McNeese and Dali, 53).
Even when he was in this movement, Dali expressed excellent painterly skills and in the early 1930s, he came up with the Paranoic-critical method in the production of paintings and artworks. This artistic technique requires an artist to let the images to arrive at the conscience. Afterward, the artist is required to freeze them on a canvas so as to give the consciousness adequate time for grasping their full meaning.
This technique of painting is what earned him worldwide recognition up to this day. I find this method of painting easy to use. However, when he brought in other aspects and called the technique the Oniric – Critical Method, it becomes a little bit difficult for me to use effectively.
It is interesting to note that despite his major accomplishments, such as the renowned painting called “The Persistence of Memory,” which he completed in 1931, Dali was “excommunicated” in 1937 from the Surrealism movement since the leader of the movement, Andre Breton, thought that his theories were misguided.
I would recommend the life of Salvador Dali to be a subject of study, especially for people who want to know how prominent personalities have struggled with the perennial questioning of philosophy in order to assist individuals develop their full human potential.
McNeese, Tim, and Dali, Salvador. Salvador Dali. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 2005. Print.
Ross, Michael E., and Dali, Salvador. Salvador Dalí and the surrealists : their lives and ideas : 21 activities. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press, 2003. Print.