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‘Swans Reflecting Elephants’ Exudes Dali’s ‘Soft, Sinewy’ Technique

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 24, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Many of Salvador Dali’s painting titles are convoluted, confusing and seemingly designed for consternation. But not “Swans Reflecting Elephants.” This one tells us exactly what we’re seeing. Salvador Dali simply loved double-imagery, hidden imagery, and other forms of optical illusion. That was probably because he had a special affinity for the phenomenon of paranoia, in which those afflicted with the disorder often times believe they see things that

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‘Birth of Liquid Desires’ a Mirror to Dali’s Inner Desires & Fears

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 20, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   One painting that truly captures the essence of Surrealism in general and Salvador Dali’s unique brand of it in particular is the great 1932 canvas, “The Birth of Liquid Desires,” which reportedly Gala Dali sold directly to the iconic collector, Peggy Guggenheim.   Here we have a textbook example of how Dali expressed his psychological conflicts and obsessions in a manner almost as if he could gain some

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Dali’s ‘Marsupial Centaurs’ is Both Surrealistic and Classical

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 17, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Salvador Dali’s “Family of Marsupial Centaurs” has always been oddly provocative and even a bit confounding to me. In one respect, it fits the description of pure surrealism. In another, it exudes a classical sense, as if it might have been painted decades or even centuries before the 36-year-old Dali painted it in 1940.   The year of the picture’s creation is important to consider, because this was

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Dali Let it All Hang Out in His ‘Lugubrious Game’ of ’29

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 13, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Salvador Dali poured his deepest thoughts, obsessions, fantasies and fears out in what is widely considered his first surrealist painting, “The Lugubrious Game” of 1929. At age 25, Dali already proved he wasn’t afraid to let it all hang out. And then some.   It would be hard to find a painting more emblematic of the spirit of surrealism than “The Lugubrious Game,” sometimes known as “The Dismal

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‘Giant Flying Mocha Cup…’ as Enigmatic as Dali Himself!

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 10, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Today’s Salvador Dali painting is one of his most enigmatic: “Giant Flying Mocha Cup with an Inexplicable Five Metre Appendage.” It’s pure surrealism and quintessential Dali – punctuated with Freudian symbolism and nodding to the Swiss Symbolist, Arnold Bocklin (who died three years before Dali was born).   For reasons that shall forever reside with Dali himself, this 1946 canvas bears a striking resemblance to one he painted

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mountain-lake

Dali’s ‘Mountain Lake’ Presages the Imminence of War

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 06, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   I’ve always been impressed by Salvador Dali’s “Mountain Lake” of 1938, even if, for much of my decades-long study of Dali’s life and work, I never quite knew why.   Surrealism is a fascinating arena in which to navigate. Strange imagery can speak to you, even if you have little or no clue as to what it might mean. After all, surrealism was very much about exploring and

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Little Known Salvador Dali Work Inspired by German Scientist

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 03, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Certain Salvador Dali paintings tenaciously glom onto my consciousness like a soft watch inextricably draped over a barren tree branch. One such work that persistently intrigues me is the very little known gouache and collage, “Celestial Coronation,” shown here in black & white because I know of no color reproduction of the privately owned work.   Thanks to Dali specialist Elliott King, Ph.D., an art professor, author and

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Dali’s ‘Lenin’ Painting Gives Us a Look Inside the Artist’s Thoughts

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 30, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   At age 27, a young Salvador Dali was smack-dab in the throes of Surrealism, and one of the best examples of his thoughts and visions transferred to oil on canvas is the important 1931 painting, “Six Apparitions of Lenin on a Piano.”   Unlike many confounding titles assigned to Dali paintings, Dali drawings and other works, this picture’s title tells us precisely what we’re seeing – but the

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Dali’s ‘Battle of Tetuan’ Seldom Seen but Makes Gigantic Impression!

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 27, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Perhaps the most seldom seen Salvador Dali painting – of the approximately 20 large-scale masterworks the Catalan genius created – is his monumental 1962 oil on canvas, “The Battle of Tetuan.” Its relative obscurity, tucked away in a museum in the city of Fukushima, Japan, is rather a shame. Because this massive canvas is one of Dali’s best and most intriguing works, while also one of the more

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Has Dali reversed the aging process?

Dali’s Triple Double-Image; Did it Symbolize His Fear of Death?

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 23, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Here’s another attempt to infiltrate the unparalleled mind of Salvador Dali – a task that’s both daunting and delicious! In the smorgasbord of Dali’s prolific career, there’s something for everyone’s tastes.   Enough of the food metaphor – let’s eat!   Today I’m going to riff about a dandy little oil on canvas of 1940: “Old Age, Adolescence, and Infancy,” which is one of the great canvases in

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