Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali y Domenech was born on May 11, 1904 in Figueras Spain. His drawing skills were apparent since the early age of six, he would sit on the tub and paint. His first exhibition was in 1918 at the municipal theater in Figuras, which later became his own museum in 1974. In 1920 he spent his time painting landscapes and portraits of his father. A year later, he worked on self-portraits and studied the Old Masters in the Prado. Throughout 1925 to 1928 Dali experimented with abstract paintings. After, Dali joined the Surrealist and became the most known in the group.
Dali published an arts chronicle in his local magazine about the artist he admired the most: Durer, Michelangelo, Goya, El Greco, Velazquez, and Leonardo da Vinci. Although, Dali’s development came thanks to when his parents sent him to live with Ramon Pitchot. The Pichot’s family provided Dali with a studio, and the environment of their summer home in Cadaques committed him deeply into nature art. Dali was also exposed to Impressionism through the paintings of Pitchot. There he had his first contact with an anti-academic and revolutionary aesthetic theory which influences his work dramatically.
In the year 1921, Dali got accepted to the Academia de San Fernando Madrid. After, he enrolled in Senor Nunez art classes in Figueras where he gained passion for the renaissance and the masters. Then, he continued his study at the Marist School where teachers basically gave up on teaching him. Furthermore, he attended the School of Fine Art in Madrid, there he created Cubist sketches, influenced by Juan Gris, Seurat, and the Italian Metaphysical School. He quickly switched to painting cubist work. The students of the school liked Dali and always talked about his cubist painting and listened to his ideas. At this time, Dali joined the most avant-garde group: Luis Bunuel, Garcia Lorca, and Pedro Garfias. The school saw those things as an act of rebellion and suspend him for a year. He returned to school in 1924 with a shifted interest to the metaphysical school. Dali then rejected cubism and futurism and returned to dreams and inner perception under the guidance of Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carra.
In 1925, Salvador Dali created Girl Standing at the Window, a large canvas of his sister Ana-Maria. This artwork was shown at Dali’s one-man exhibition in Barcelona, it is considered one of the most beautiful. In this painting Ana-Maria poses looking out the window with a view of the sea in their Cadaques home. This specific place was portrayed in many of Dali’s paintings. Dali always choose a landscape view or near a window to paint his sister. The genre content, ordinary scene correct in proportion and detail, was the type of work he was doing before the surrealism.
Furthermore, at the age of 23, Dali created Apparatus and Hand (1927). Although he did not join the Surrealists until 1929, his work was starting to show their influence as well as Freud’s ideas. The painting shows symbols put together in a blue landscape that creates a dream-like setting with illusion of depth. The women’s body on the left is depicted with academy realism, but the other figures are very strange. It also shows organic and geometric forms inspired by the surrealists. Dali began to show evidence of his growing hallucinatory power. During this time he was experimenting with different styles, until he completely identified himself with Surrealism.
Lastly, Dali created his first surrealist painting in the year 1929, by the name of The Lugubrious Game. Today, the art world is less easily alarmed by images of sex, blood, excrement, and putrefaction, nut fifty years ago it was still quite shockable and had difficulty digesting a panting like Dali’s In this painting he tried to paint the images of his imagination and interpretation of his dreams. It has an explicit imagery of masturbation, the figure on the base of the statue has the head down in shame and an enlarged right hand. He created a method called paranoiac-critical which means looking at one thing and seeing another. His technique made any vision seem real no matter how outrageous it was. His approach was one of the most revolutionary contributions to Surrealism and was the touchstone which gave Dali’s work its unique character and dominated his evolution as an artist. He treated the canvas as a transparent window, using all the paralysing tricks of eye fooling.
In conclusion, Dali is known as the founding master of Surrealism and remains one of the most fascinating and intriguing artist of all time. It was said that, For almost forty years, Salvador Dali had been one of the two most famous painters alive. His name has been kept alive by the controversy of his work and the heavy criticism. Dali always had a desire to do the opposite of what everyone else did. Over the years he has become so closely identified with Surrealism, that whenever one thinks about Surrealism, Salvador Dali comes to mind.