Salvador Dali, A Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano, 1936

SalvadorDali
Salvador Dali, A Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano, 1936, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Salvador Dali, born on May 11th, 1904 in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain! Perhaps one of the more famous and outrageous of Surrealists, Dali’s work, grandiose not only in its subject matter but also execution and origin, is only surpassed by the artist’s personality that is just as larger than life and dramatic as one would expect of someone who painted a visual interpretation of a Freudian study of the unconscious mind. In 1929, the Surrealists sought to recruit Dali into their circle after being introduced to the artist via his cinematic collaboration with filmmaker Luis Buñuel on his film Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), a project that stirred quiet the shock with the Parisian Surrealists. As most surrealists, Dali employed Breton’s technique of automatism, an artistic method in which the artist removes himself mentally from the work and allows for his brush to move freely along the canvas without any planning or predetermination. However, in 1930, Dali sought to expand on automatism, creating his own version of the method, which he coined as Paranoiac-Critical Method, a process which allowed the artist to tap into his own subconscious mind by self inducing paranoid and irrational thoughts. In 1938 Dali was able to finally not just meet his long standing hero, Sigmund Freud, but was also lucky enough to paint his portrait. After this experience, Freud famously said, “So far, I was led to consider completely insane the Surrealists, who I think I had been adopted as the patron saint. This young Spaniard with his candid, fanatical eyes and his undeniable technical mastery has made me change my mind.” Dali has always viewed life as the greatest form of art, living his in the most lavish, extravagant and theatrical style. For Dali, Dali the painter and Dali the person is the same thing, there is no separating between person and artist, a concept that has evoked many artists after him, most notably Andy Warhol, and is still continuing to influence artists to this day. Pictured here is Salvador Dali, A Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano, 1936, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
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