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June 14, 2011

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali was born in Figueras, Spain, in a family that hailed from Cadaques on the Costa Brava. The Dali family spent their vacations in Cadaques, and it is from this landscape that Dali incorporated it as background or as an integral part of the composition. Around 1928, he went to Paris, and found himself aligned to the French Surrealists. He later married Gala Eluard, former wife of the poet Paul Eluard, one of the founders of the movement. However Dali became obsessed with the study of Italian Renaissance painters and the French Surrealists rejected this style as too academic in technique. Dali then decided to leave France for New York. Dali's work is distinguished by precise exactitude. Paint is applied smoothly and evenly in a varied and generally muted palette that occasionally bursts into glaring color. His subject matter is that of the dream world and portrayals of objects, people, and animals, arranged in unexpected and often inexplicable combinations. A prodigious worker, Dali has produced large quantities of paintings that include portraits, landscapes with figures, figures seemingly superimposed on landscapes, and later in his career, religious subjects. As he aged, it is rumored that a group of assistants did much of the painting for him. Dali was a shameless self-promoter who stunned the public and press with bizarre antics. Late In life, it became known that Gala’s supposed devotion to him was a sham. Dali was also implicated in a fake print fiasco. On January 23, 1989, while his favorite record of Tristan and Isolde played, he died of heart failure at Figueres at the age of 84. There is a wonderful Dali museum not far from me in St. Petersburg, Florida. If you are in the area, you should make some time to visit.

Dali was someone who believed in self-promotion. He had a great need for attention. A follower of the Tao seeks to be humble. He does not seek the spotlight. If the spotlight finds him, he acts with modesty. By avoiding attention, he brings attention upon himself.