Salvador Dali’s Influence Remains Ubiquitous, Dynamic & Endless


By Paul Chimera

Salvador Dali Historian


Dali the influencer. That’s the Dali I want to talk about today. The man not only influenced virtually every aspect of contemporary art and popular culture during his prolific career, but continues to do so long after his passing nearly 30 years ago.


We see the influence of Dali’s uniquely “Daliesque” style of Surrealism everywhere: in print and electronic advertising. ..


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In fashion and popular music…


Going Gaga over Dali!

Going Gaga over Dali!



In theater…


Actors from the Finzi Pasca Company hang a theatrical backdrop that was painted by Salvador Dali in the 1940's for an adaptation of Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolda, at the Auditorio Nacional del Sodre in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The backdrop is being used in their work "La Verita," a circus show that was inspired by Dali's painting and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)



In gift wear (think melty clocks and runny wrist watches)…


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In the hugely popular and growing interest in body art; i.e., tattooing – frequently showcased on the Salvador Dali Page on Facebook…


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Even in celebrities such as Dustin Hoffman affecting a dramatic Dali stare…




We see all manner of artists — serious and commercial — channeling Dali’s unmistakable double-imagery magic in their work . . .


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And there’s his influence on present-day artists. Both in terms of these artists’ painting style, and with respect to the subject matter of many artists, who’ve chosen to portray the mustachioed Catalan painter and genius in myriad ways.


As Dali historian for The Salvador Dali Society, Inc.© of Torrance, California (I’m based in Buffalo, New York), I proudly claim friendship with three American artists who’ve paid tribute to Salvador Dali in unique and impressive ways. They’ve recognized that Dali was an inimitable trend-setter and genius on many levels.


Bethel, Connecticut artist Louis Markoya, who was a Dali collaborator and protégé, has made it his life’s mission to carry on the Surrealism and Nuclear-Mysticism of his celebrated mentor. Markoya recently completed a series of 12 portraits of influencers in his life, of course including Dali. The ultra-fluidity of the series – which includes Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan and other luminaries – suggests the fluid intra-atomic world, but inevitably also extends the sinewy, fluid look of so many of Salvador Dali’s oils, prints, drawings and even sculptures.


Louis Markoya interprets Salvador Dali

Louis Markoya interprets Salvador Dali



St. Petersburg, Florida painter Steven Kenny adopts a neo-surrealist style in his meticulous pictures, including this outstanding tribute to Mr. Dali…


Steven Kenney's portrait of Dali

Steven Kenny’s portrait of Dali


And Doug Auld of Hoboken, New Jersey, created a series that captured the likeness of famous people in tableaus comprised of butterflies, fish, bees, birds and other elements. His portrait of Salvador Dali – composed of leaves and insects – is nothing short of amazing…


Doug Auld's hidden Dali

Doug Auld’s hidden Dali


Perhaps the main take-away of what I’m imparting today is that, unlike most other artists, Dali’s influence is still so very much alive, so vibrant, so relevant. New books on the artist; novelty items, such as a just-released “action figure” whose mustache can be formed to the owner’s tastes; even Dali socks …


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…and frequent exhibitions around the globe, examining all aspects of his boundless creativity, serve to demonstrate that, as some scholars are indeed now contending, Salvador Dali just might be the greatest artist of all time. Certainly the most popular in his own time.


Yes, such a grandiose statement may still be a little difficult to carve in stone. But it’s getting less and less difficult every day.



(Images used under Fair Use provisions for journalistic purposes only)





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