jay     Sun, Dec 13, 2009  Permanent link
no one could've said it better. on a side note, the first thing i noticed is that he's got an ocelot for a pet! i wiki'd to check and of course he's mentioned:

"Salvador Dalí frequently traveled with his pet ocelot, even bringing it aboard the luxury ocean liner, SS France."

second tangent...i've been an admirer of dali since i got into the band dredg (around 2002) when they released a concept album, "el cielo," inspired by dali's "dream caused by the flight of a bumblebee around a pomegranate one second before awakening." it's largely about the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, which is when the brain awakens from an REM state, but the body paralysis persists. fully conscious, but unable to move.

in the liner notes of "el cielo," dredg printed letters sent to them by people suffering from sleep paralysis, and several songs on the album include lyrics taken directly from the letters. here's a good summary of the thought behind the album.

thanks for the dali reminder, i've been meaning to learn more about him.
LED     Mon, Dec 14, 2009  Permanent link
"After World War II, Dalí became closer to the authoritarian Franco regime. Some of Dalí's statements supported the Franco regime, congratulating Franco for his actions aimed "at clearing Spain of destructive forces."

I don't like him at all!
HelloAlexCL     Mon, Dec 14, 2009  Permanent link
In painting, Dali strives for perfection, but this perfection already innately exists before the medium is touched. The blank canvas is already perfect, contained, and indivisible. “Your canvas is one and indivisible and round, hence complete, enclosed within itself and perfect as a circle” (50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship 47). Perfection is inherent to the blank canvas itself. Thus, the need to paint is not predicated upon the desire for perfection, which already presents itself “fulfilled” in the blank canvas, complete and untouched. The need to paint is, first a foremost, the need to create something to fill in the void that is the blank canvas, but this need is satisfied in a very particular and precise way that acknowledges and mirrors the void beneath, that does not destroy the blankness but duplicates it in another fashion at the same moment it is “too quickly and irreparably soiled” (SMC 45). To paint, for Dali, is to create a semblance, to conceal if not to fill the void, and as a semblance it is absolutely essential. The semblance functions to conceal and reveal the void simultaneously, and it is a need because one is born a void, which is to say being born is not being born at all—the newborn is a blank canvas and in this way born dead. “Look! Salvador Dali has just been born!...Look at me!...You see nothing? And all of you—do you see nothing either?...It will not be so the day I die!” (Secret Life 34). The task of the child will be to fill or cover this nothing, the nothing that is he, with a semblance that persuades others, and perhaps himself, that there is something there—something real, hard, solid—a dissimulation to cover the void from which this something began....In other words, the conception of the (blank) canvas is the painted image itself.
Olena     Tue, Dec 15, 2009  Permanent link
Thanks for mentioning dredg, never heard of them, but will research now.

Cynthia -
Yes, Dali was a bit of an ass; I don't blame you. He wasn't exactly very morally sound; at that point it had to do with his religious values. Despite these downfalls I find him interesting as a human.

Never heard of "50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship" either!
Pretty intriguing quotations. These ideas about the perfection of the blank canvas seem really Zen/Buddhist.

That said, if only for this post, I'm more in the man's ideas (especially about individualism) & persona than in his painted images. I'm very curious as to why it's so unacceptable to be "a little more Dali" in this way. I don't want to generalize too much but most of the time "we" choose to go with the "scripted" path rather than the lobster telephone. Why not take advantage of the split-second strange thoughts or that mad creativity? Why not wear flowers on our mustache? This kind of living often pointed out as an admirable quality in children.

Here's the Wiki about the Lobster Telephone.
HelloAlexCL     Wed, Dec 16, 2009  Permanent link
I've read and studied all of Dali's autobiographies and only really delved into his paintings and philosophical writings inasmuch as they illuminated the person/persona, which happened to be quite a bit. It would be fair to say that my mind got raped during these few months that I was studying him. He is both terrifying (he has no self) and quite funny. Of utmost importance in his biographical writings are the figures of his mother and Gala, as placeholder of the mother. If you are interested in his technique, the autobiographies are key, not just 50 Secrets, which is supposed to be a handbook for young painters but amounts to another autobiography. But then again, maybe that's just the way I've been trained, as his philosophical writings also appear to me to be autobiographical. You might want to research his "paranoiac-critical method." It's outlines in his book Oui.
HelloAlexCL     Wed, Dec 16, 2009  Permanent link
about that no-self thing....

Olena     Wed, Dec 16, 2009  Permanent link
Alex - thanks for posting that video! I actually linked to it somewhere a few days ago, upon seeing it, he's hilarious! But also quite understandable. The people laugh, but it's a very "artist" thing to do to agree to all of those questions — he just does not want to limit himself.