Salvador Dali Surrealism

Surrealism was the 20th century phase in art and literature of expressing subconscious in images without order or coherence, as in a dream. Andre Breton was considered the main creator of the surrealist movement. By 1924, Breton viewed his movement as a rebellion against the accepted moral, social, and logical orders. Surrealist art went beyond writing or painting objects as they looked at reality. Their art showed objects in distorted forms, colors, and movements like in a dream. Breton was influenced by a psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian psychiatrist that had theories on exploring the subconscious and dream interpretations. Freud’s theories were about having thoughts, things or ideas in your mind that were kept hidden and restrained in your life. He also wrote about the “fundamental role of sexuality and explanations of fantasy and imagination.” Breton created works related to dreams and showing the minds hidden thoughts in art.
This surrealistic art was based on the belief that there were treasures hidden in the human mind. The word fantasy cannot accurately describe surrealism. Rather, surrealism is better described as a grander reality. In this grander reality, the conflicts he faced in his life could find resolution. Salvador Dali believed that truth, by its own nature, was hidden. Due to this, much of his work was based on this belief. Dali became everything the surrealist movement was to the point of drastically changing his lifestyle. Although Dali did not create surrealism his contributions improved it and saved it. Salvador Dali defined surrealism in the way he lived his life, and in the art he created.
Before surrealism Dali experimented with different art forms like Pointillism, Cubism and Purism. He studied Freud and attended art academies. In 1926 Joan Miro, a surrealist artist, discovered Dali and asked Dali’s father to send him to Paris, France. Miro’s interest in Dali gave him the opportunity to experience surrealism. Dali traveled to Paris, France in 1928 where he met Miro at an art exhibition at the gallery Goemans. He was intrigued by surrealism the moment he was introduced and with everything that had to do with it: the people, the art, and the lifestyle. When Dali went back home in 1929 he had become obsessed with surrealism. He wanted to go further than any other surrealist. He wanted to become more insane, more noble, and more insightful than most conventional painters.
He set up an easel at the end of his bed, and he had began to paint what would be his first surrealist painting, “The Great Masturbator.” He wanted the painting to be the last thing he saw before he went to bed, and the first thing he saw when he woke up. Dali would burst into laughter without reason and wear crazy outfits. The painting of a man with “shit-stained” underpants bothered the people from the surrealist delegation in 1929. His life was becoming more and more like one of his paintings. It was beyond reality.
Though Dali’s behavior was a surprise to his new surrealist friends, they became attracted by his unusual personality as were they to the violent tendencies of his works. His life changed when he met and fell in love with one of the surrealist’s wife, Gala Eluard. Immediately there was a union forged between him and her. Gala had such a good influence on him and his work. Being with him gave her the ability to prevent his twisted fantasies from becoming a reality. She made him take notes for the composition of his paintings. This allowed him to find the double significance in the things surrounding him and the works he created. Her constant attention made him worship her to the point where he was signing his picture their names together. Dali was hiding the truth about their relationship in his art.
The paranoiac-critical method had one of the biggest impacts on the surrealist movement. This method was introduced at critical point and ultimately saved the fading movement. The paranoiac-critical method allowed art to be created from spiritual and psychic life rather than being created from dreams. It is easier to explain the method by the way it was shown in his paintings. This method was best shown in “The Hallucinogenic Toreador” finished in 1970. This painting exhibited the double image in the middle formed by the Venus De Milo repeated several times from different angles to show the shadows form a mans face and tie. The double image may not be noticeable at first and requires the person to invest time in the viewing the painting to get the meaning. According to Dali, the painting that obtains the complete application of this method was “The Metamorphosis of Narcissus”. The face of Narcissus gradually disappears until it eventually becomes invisible. His face metamorphosis into fingers and hand. Andre Bougenec calls it “a genuine optical phenomenon”.
Dali was an optical phenomenon himself. He was not politically involved but his paintings displayed comments on political events. Though born in Paris and well traveled, he loved Spain. He bought a fisherman’s cabin in Port Lligat and spent many times there with Gala. He made the Spanish state his inheritor and many of his works are there. In 1940 he finished the “Horrible Face Of War”. The eyes of the painting are filled with constant death which much more closely symbolizes the Spanish Civil War rather than World War II. In 1943 he finished “The Poetry Of America” in Monterey, California. He filled this painting with everything he felt was the meaning of America. At the top of the painting he put a soft clock symbolizing America because, from what he said, Americans are always pressed for time and looking to their watches.
Dali was respected by his fellow surrealists and his paintings were popular with the public. His first successful surrealist work was “Persistence of Memory” painted in 1931. The watches featured in this painting acted as a representation of time and how clocks become damaged and useless in life as do dreams when confronted by the subconscious mind. Dali’s art resisted all forms of censure and as they became more surreal, his surrealist friends withdrew from him. Breton was pressuring him to belong to the communist party and Dali responded with his fascination with Hitler. Dali did not get involved in political movements and asked, “Was it his fault if he dreamed of Hitler?” He was thrown out of the group and responded, “ I took Surrealism literally”. He noted, “To such a degree that I was finally expelled from the group because I was too Surrealist”.
Salvador Dali began painting at six years old and by his twenty third birthday he was a member of the Surrealist movement. Dali took his experiences, picked up a paint brush and created optical phenomenons, bizarre images and controversy within his own art world. Dali’s paintings are familiar to people who are not in the art world and his name is recognized all over the world. His paranoiac-critical method continues to be applied even in the graphic art world with optical illusion designs. Surrealism casts doubt on the grasp of reality and Dali’s lifestyle and art did that. Dali’s art dares artists today to push beyond what is and find the hidden truth.

1. Webster’s Dictionary (New York: Book Essentials, Inc., 1992), 381
2. Alyse Gaultier, Little Book Of Dali, 106
3. Sarane Alexander, Surrealist Art (New York: Thames & Hudson Inc, 1985), 47
4. Gaultier, Little Book Of Dali, 63
5. IBID, 63
6. Alexander, Surrealist Art, 9
7. IBID, 49
8. Gaultier, Little Book Of Dali, 10
9. IBID, 10
10. Gaultier, Little Book Of Dali, 78
11. Alexander, Surrealist Art, 96
12. Alexander, Surrealist Art, 97-99
13. Alexander, Surrealist Art, 96
14. Robert Descharnes, Dali, (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1985), 22-23
15. Alexander, Surrealist Art, 97
16. IBID, 97
17. IBID, 85
18. IBID, 85
19. Deschmarnes, Dali,122
20. Gaultier, Little Book Of Dali, 74
21. IBID, 75
22. Gaultier, Little book of Dali,104
23. Deschmarnes, Dali, 96
24. IBID, 100
25. Gaultier, Little book of Dali, 88
26. Deschmarnes, Dali, 35
27. IBID, 35
28. IBID, 35-36

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...


Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...