I find Salvador Dali (or Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domènech) to be a terribly fascinating human being, and mostly because he was and is such a mystery to so many people. From his quotes and interviews it seems as though he never did like to give clear answers, almost as if he himself wanted to appear as surreal as his work.
I’ve loved Dali’s work from a very young age. My dad had two small prints framed in our old flat, and I used to sit and stare at them, before I had any serious concept of art or its many variations, and wonder what could be happening. The piece I remember staring at most is ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening’. My imagination, as young and limitless as it was, didn’t know what to do with such an image. Before I learned the title of the piece or its meaning, I used to wonder what this woman had done to anger all these strange creatures that were apparently after her.
As I grew older I began to look more in depth in to Dali’s life and work. Some of his early life was actually quite heartbreaking, and like most artists it was the parents that loosened the first few screws (I’m not saying Dali was crazy – just that his parents helped him get a little fucked up – as parents so often do). Despite this, he loved his parents a great deal, and when his mother died it tore through him with a pain I am all too familiar with. Art helped him to cope. It helped him to create his own world when the one around him made no sense. It was his escape. He could make up his own rules, show whatever side of himself he felt like and display his emotions with any imagery he wanted – without having to explain himself to anyone.
I can relate to Dali and his work quite a lot. Getting lost is something writers, like artists, live for. It’s our strongest tool but also our greatest downfall, and it can often be hard to keep a hold of yourself. He taught me to make things for myself, to not care if it made sense to anyone else as long as it made me happy. I live by some of his quotes.
“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.”
“I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”
“Everything alters me, but nothing changes me.”
I think Salvador Dali is one of the most fascinating artists and people who ever lived. He took the complexity of the human brain, of life and emotion and everything that makes a person move and turned it in to some of the most magnificent art.