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‘Accidental’ Sighting Gives Birth to Dali’s ‘Paranoiac Face’

Posted by Paul Chimera on May 08, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   When we talk about an artist’s vision, we usually mean his or her sense of innovation or prescience. In the case of Salvador Dali, we also have to consider the concept of “vision” in a more literal sense – thanks to his unique Paranoiac-Critical creative method.   Put simply, the concept referred to Dali’s uncanny ability to see things that others did not – and successfully transcribe such visions

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Did 1933 Dali Painting Anticipate Lady Gaga’s ‘Meat Dress’?

Posted by Paul Chimera on May 04, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Did Dali think Gala was good enough to eat? Were her alluring beauty and inspiring presence as savory and seductively tempting as a sumptuously prepared meal? One would certainly think so, after contemplating “Portrait of Gala Balancing Two Lamb Chops on Her Shoulder,” painted when the artists was 29 years old.   Salvador Dali, for most of his adult life, had an almost impossible reverence for his Russian-born

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Dali’s ‘Enchanted Beach’ Shows Off his Unique Double-Imagery

Posted by Paul Chimera on May 01, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   During my tenure as publicity director of the original Salvador Dali Museum of Beachwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland – the museum subsequently relocated to St. Pete, Florida in 1982 – I found that museum visitors had a special affinity for “Enchanted Beach with Three Fluid Graces.”   The 1938 oil on canvas remains a crowd pleaser, and it’s easy to see why. First, that wonderful Dali technique: soft,

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Dali Hits Death-Like Note in ‘Necrophiliac Fountain Flowing from a Grand Piano’

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 27, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Salvador Dali looked at just about everything in his world – real or imagined – far differently than mere mortals! That might sound a touch dramatic, but it’s really not far from the truth. The fact is that Dali seemed destined from the very beginning to be, well, different. Different in how he conducted himself. Different in what he thought and how he viewed the world. Different in

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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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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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