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Today in countries around the world people are celebrating a version of Día de Los Muertos, the holiday which honors our deceased loved ones. With different offerings families will go out and visit the grave site of their close passed family members. A constant symbol for this holiday is skeletal imagery. Here in the United States through the Latin American Community you see countless bright adorned skull images placed on sweet breads and painted on faces. This symbol is also a extremely relevant icon within Salvador Dalí’s art work.
Dalí was obsessed with skeletal imagery. For Dalí it was a powerful symbol of war, not only the war amongst countries and people, but also the inner psychological war fought between the self. Dalí often mentioned that he had a keen sense of war, that he had “premonitions” regarding wars. The skull for Dalí was a constant reminder of death and decay, and idea for him that was contrary to what he believed about himself and his legacy, that being that he would be immortal.
Works like Faces of War (1940), In Voluptas Mors (1951, The Skull of Zubaran (1956), helped secure Dalí’s legacy as a master of double imagery. It is odd that works about the world and perhaps Dalí’s own demise, were so central to the identity Dalí would leave.