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Salvador Dalí

Spanish  •  1904-1989

Biography

Salvador Dalí was perhaps the most broadly known member of the Surrealist movement of the early twentieth century. Heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud, the avant-garde style explored consciousness and dream-like states through exaggerated landscapes and bizarre or grotesque imagery. Using the means of painting, sculpture, printmaking, film and literature, Dalí explored these ideas with a meticulous hand and inventive wit. 

Although known for his role in Surrealism, Dalí was also a seminal example of celebrity showmanship and the cult of personality, a phenomenon that dominates popular culture today. Always a colorful and flamboyant presence with his signature cape, wide-eyed expression and trademark upturned waxed mustache, Dalí was a master of self-promotion and spectacle.

Insights

  • During the Second World War, Dalí was exiled to the U.S., where he collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock to create the hallucinatory sequences in the film Spellbound.  

"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision."

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