When people hear Salvador Dalí’s name nowadays we think “artist” but it wasn’t only Dalí’s art that help his name to become a house hold name like it is today. He was considered one of the most famous men of the 20th century for more than a few reasons. Obviously his art is iconic, but it was his extremely odd personality that made him so famous. In his long career he successfully accomplished achievements in sculpture, printmaking, fashion, advertising, writing, and film. Dalí is considered one of the major Surrealists who used shock and unease to grab the views attention. Here are 10 Facts you might not have known about Dalí.
- Dalí believed he was a reincarnation of his dead brother
Perhaps the most unusual fact about Dalí is that before Dalí was born, his mother had given birth to another child, also called Salvador Dalí. Unfortunately, the first Salvador died and nine months later, the second Salvador Dalí was born. Since he resembled the first Salvador so much and had been born exactly nine months later, his parents believed that he was actually their dead son reborn. When Dalí was five, his parents took him to the first Salvador’s grave, and told him of their belief that he was the reincarnation of his dead brother. Dalí believed this to be true as well.
- He had a Bad Boy Past
Like most well know artist Dalí had what we will call a bad boy past. In 1923, Dalí was suspended from the academy, in that same year; he was arrested and briefly imprisoned, then expelled from the Academy in 1926 shortly before his final exams. He later was disinherited by his father and told that he should never set foot in Cadaqués (his home town) again. They later made up, but not before he was kicked out of the Surrealist group. However he continued to participate in Surrealist events.
- Dalí designed the Chupa Chups logo.
The Chupa Chups logo was designed in 1969 by Salvador Dalí. This was kind of an unusual thing he did but it was said he would do anything for money.
- His apolitical stance made it hard for him.
Dalí was actually apolitical, and remained so throughout most of his life. This often made Dalí un- liked and even got him in trouble multiple times throughout his life.
- Con Man?
He was also known for being a bit of a con man. There are accounts of him pricing a painting really high then justifying the enormous price tag on one painting, by telling a rich customer that the paint had been mixed with the venom of a million wasps. Apparently it had not.
- Getting out of restaurant bills
Dalí also had a smart way of avoiding restaurant bills. Apparently he frequently invited a large group of friends out for expensive lunches. When it came time to pay, Dalí would cheerfully write a check for the full amount. When he knew the waiter was looking, he would casually doodle on the back of the check, knowing that nobody in their right mind would ever cash a check with an original sketch by Salvador Dalí on it. Honestly it was probably worth more than the amount on the check. So the check would go uncashed, and Dalí would get away with not paying the bill. So it was kind of a win win for both parties.
- His Unusual Marriage
In August 1929, Dalí met the love of his life, Gala. Unfortunately for Dalí, Gala was already married to the French surrealist poet Paul Eluard. That didn’t stop them though. Since Gala and Eluard had what we would call an “open marriage” Dalí had a shot. After divorcing Eluard (although they apparently continued a sexual relationship), Gala married Dalí in 1934. However it wasn’t exactly a traditional marriage, but what would you expect from Dalí? It is said that both continued to see other people but apparently the relationship was a happy one. The partnership was so important that Dalí would frequently sign art with both of their names.
- “paranoiac-critical method”
One of Dalí’s major contributions to the Surrealist movement was what he called the “paranoiac-critical method.” This is a mental exercise used to access the subconscious to enhance artistic creativity. Dalí would use the method to create a reality from his dreams and subconscious thoughts, thus mentally changing reality to what he wanted it to be and not necessarily what it was. For Dalí, it became a way of life.
- He bought a Castle for Gala
Towards the end of his life he moved to Pubol, and lived in a castle that he had purchased and remodeled for Gala- his wife and love of his life. However some people believe he possibly bought it to hide from the public or, as others believe, he bought it to die in.
- He knew how to own his crazy!
Although he loved money a little too much and did some crazy things in his life; Dalí impacted the art world, opened new doors, and gave ideas that no one had thought of. He used his big personality to make a name for himself even if he did go overboard sometimes.
Quotes by Dalí
“Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.”-Salvador Dalí
“I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”- Salvador Dalí
“The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.”-Salvador Dalí
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”-Salvador Dalí
“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.”- Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí’s work continues to impact and inspire artist all over the world still today! Check out some of his works we have at the Gallery. Visit www.baterbys.com or call 888-682-9995 for more information on the gallery, upcoming events, and current deals and special promotions.