First painting Salvador Dali made and exhibited was his self-portrait he drew at the age of 10. He held his first exhibition in his hometown Figueres’ Municipal Theater at the age of 14. Having seen his first paintings which were quite ordinary compared to his latter style, critics had stated that he would be the genius of future times.
Over time; he improved himself to give cubist works, which were the popular art movement of his era. Later on; he adopted the style called surrealism, which was a perfect fit for his character, and he became one of the most important artists of this movement in the world. “To create art, one must disable the mind”; this statement shows his view to art. It is nearly impossible to separate truth from dream in his artworks. Dali’s aim was to make the daily practices dreamy with a cynical attitude..
Symbols Of Dali
In order to understand the art works of Dali, which are full of imagery, it is useful to know the meanings of the objects which he particularly repeats;
- Ants symbolize decaying
- Eggs symbolize birth and reproductivity
- Rods in the form of slingshots symbolize the sensitivity of the status
- Red handkerchief symbolizes the bloodshed at Spanish Civil War
- Black telephone symbolizes the phone conversations made shortly before the II. World War
- Loaves of bread symbolize abundance
- Hydrogen molecules symbolize science and the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima
- Drawers coming out of the body symbolize the things men keep in their subconscious
- Wet suits of divers symbolize the journey made to the subconscious
Manias of Dali
- He met Turkish female journalist Zeynep Oral, who was just 19 years old at the time and who told him “We will tell your story in Turkish media without hiding anything” and Dali had hosted Ms Oral totally naked for an interview at a hotel room.
- Because he came with an old model of wetsuit to an invitation, he ran into a death risk by suffocating.
- He used to look at an empty canvas for 1-2 hours before going to bed and start to draw immediately after he woke up.
- It is said that his childhood, upbringing style, his love to his muse Gala and his sexual problems are the basis of his creativity and eccentric persona.
- According to some, he never slept with Gala and he was homosexual.
- He once said; “I wanted to be a cook at the age of 6 and to be Napoleon at 7 and my ambition is increasingly continuing since then”.
- Freud told Dali that he was his biggest homework but even Freud couldn’t understand Dali.