Fashion. Forward. FUN!



Mar 13th 2021

Utter goofiness, self-mockery, outlandish artwork… are we talking about a kid, or about Salvador Dalí?

The Spanish painter and sculptor were once expelled from an Art School because he claimed none of his teachers were qualified to grade him! Salvador Dalí and his iconic, long mustache and a crazed gaze pierced the lens of every camera. Salvador Dali, a fine representative of Surrealism.

The flamboyant artist was born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain, not very far from the Pyrenees Mountains. This fantastic scenery was often showcased in his paintings. His father was rigorous and led the household with harsh disciplinary measures. On the contrary, his mother was kind, loving, and motivated Salvador´s inclination for art. He grew up playing football and drawing, and he wasn´t exactly the teacher´s pet. His constant daydreaming, and his rebellious replies to his teachers, often caused him trouble at school.

Nine months before Salvador was born, his mother had lost another baby –also called Salvador. Dalí grew up thinking he was his own deceased brother, brought to life in another form. As a matter of fact, his parents encouraged this belief! To judge Salvador Dali because he painted melting clocks and floating eyes would be unfair after growing up with such bizarre thoughts. He also had a sister –Ana Maria –who often modeled for his paintings. What kind of turmoil developed inside that little kid´s brain, we will never know. We know that he painted about what surrounded him: beautiful landscapes, family members, and endless rarities.

When he was 24 years old, he went to Paris and joined other Surrealists –those artists who combined reality and fantasy in their work. Unusual images, bizarre landscapes, and odd circumstances plagued his career –as if he was painting his dreams.

“Give me two hours a day of activity, and I’ll take the other twenty-two in dreams.”

Salvador Dalí.

Surreal artists, like Dalí, were heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud. If we come to think about it, it makes perfect sense. Freud believed our unconscious bears our memories and repressed desires, which often got entangled in our dreams –which is precisely what Dalí tried to paint. When we are awake, things “make sense,” then we go to bed and, no matter how strange, implausible, or unfeasible our dream is, as long as we are asleep, it seems “normal” to our mind. It is only when we wake up we realize how strange it was.

Salvador Dalí painted as if he were asleep all the time, which is similar to what children do. When expressing their desires, dreams, or fears, kids fail to measure them in terms of feasibility. For a young kid, wishing for ice cream, or possessing a unicorn, falls into the same category. A child fears a spider as much as he or she fears the boogeyman. Does it mean that all kids are delusional? No. it means they are much more in sync with their subconscious than we, ordinary adults, are. And so was Salvador Dalí.

There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.

Salvador Dali.

During the 1930s, Salvador Dali became the most notable surreal artist in the world. Undoubtedly, his painting “The Persistence of Memory” became his most famous piece of artwork.

In such a painting, the observer notices a white figure sleeping in a deserted landscape. There are several clocks depicted –one over a blanket, another hung over a limb. The clocks are not rigid nor flat; they seem soft, bendable, and melting from a scorching sun—fun fact: all the clocks have a different time set on them. Experts say the distorted clocks symbolize how unreliable the passage of time is when we are asleep. Others conclude it mocks the absurd obsession humans have with time and their desire to control it while it melts before our eyes.

Contrary to other artists, who based their work on personal tragedies and hardship, Salvador Dali seemed to remain alien to such torments. In fact, if one watches his interviews –despite the crazy mustache and the odd-looking clothes –it is palpable how much he was comfortable in his own skin. He did not seem to care about other people´s opinions –more or less like any other happy kid.

There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.

Salvador Dalí.

How could anyone paint their dreams and not seem ludicrous to the rest of the world? Only truly gifted artists, such as Salvador Dali, and kids manage to accomplish so.

A poet, a rebel, a witty character full of life –perhaps sometimes in excess! That gifted the world with his talent, memorable remarks, and many melting clocks that remind us how absurd and childish our existence is!