Salvador Dali Essay, Research Paper
Dali s work is permeated by events that shaped his life even before his birth in 1904 in Figueras, Spain. His name, Salvador, had first been given to a brother who died a few years earlier at a young age. Perhaps because of that death, his parents lavished upon him an excessive love that fostered his egocentric and flamboyant personality. Furthermore, he saw himself as the phantom of his dead brother, early on becoming familiar with the obsessive idea of death, one of the themes that inspired his work.
Young Dali started to paint at the age of ten, when he became aquatinted with the work of a friend of his family, Ram n Pichot, an artist influenced by French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. One of his earlier works dates from 19201 and shows the Pichot influence while revealing a mastery uncommon for a youngster. Before long, Dali went to study at the School of Fine Arts in Madrid at which he wound up being suspended and later expelled. In those years, Dali alternately painted landscapes of the Ampurdan plain and Cubist works indebted to Picasso s Mediterranean classicism of the nineteen-twenties, always displaying the sharp precision in drawing and composition that characterizes his whole career.
Many of the themes in Dali s work surfaced during the nineteen-thirties: the soft watches ; the double images ; the rotting food and organisms ; the obsession with Jean-Francois Millet s The Angelus. Other thing that seemed to influence his work were the love for his wife Gala and odd dreams he experienced.
Dali joined the Surrealists in 1929, but by 1922, he had already read The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud, and had been incorporating material from dreams and the unconscious into his paintings since 1926. The Catalan painter immediately impressed the French Surrealists with his singular way of delving deeply into the group s topics of interest. Dali proposed to bring order to a state of delirium or hallucination, thus maintaining a dream in force during wakefulness. This is later what the painter called the paranoiac-critical method, further explaining it in many written statements throughout the thirties.
In 1930, Dali defined the paranoiac-critical method as a spontaneous system of irrational knowledge based upon the interpretive-critical association of delirious phenomena. He conceived paranoia as a proud exaltation of one s self, a way for the artist to categorize and take possession of his own obsessions with the purpose of organizing them as artistic material.
Rather than bring any innovation in pictorial language or mode of representation to painting, Dali s paradoxical images are his great contribution to the art of our time. Since he abandoned his attempts at cubism in 1926, it can be said that he had a recourse only to traditional painting techniques.