Salvador Dali is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. His fiercely technical yet highly unusual paintings, sculptures and visionary explorations in film and life-size interactive art ushered in a new generation of imaginative expression. From his personal life to his professional endeavors, he always took great risks and proved how rich the world can be when you dare to embrace pure, boundless creativity.
Salvador Dali was born on May 11, 1904 to parents Salvador Dali Cusi, a prominent notary, and Felipa Domenech Ferres, a gentle mother who often indulged young Salvador’s eccentric behavior. Felipa was a devout Catholic and the elder Salvador an Atheist, which was a combination that heavily influenced their son’s worldview. Dali’s artistic talent was obvious from a young age, and both of his parents supported it—though it is known that the relationship with his disciplinarian father was strained. Ultimately, Dali’s raw creativity and defiant attitude would distance him from his father, but it would also become the cornerstone of his wildly imaginative artistic feats. .
After passing through phases of Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting, he joined the Surrealists in 1929 and his talent for self-publicity rapidly made him the most famous representative of the movement. Throughout his life he cultivated eccentricity and exhibitionism (one of his most famous acts was appearing in a diving suit at the opening of the London Surrealist exhibition in 1936), claiming that this was the source of his creative energy. He took over the Surrealist theory of automatism but transformed it into a more positive method which he named `critical paranoia’.
His paintings employed a meticulous academic technique that was contradicted by the unreal `dream’ space he depicted and by the strangely hallucinatory characters of his imagery. He described his pictures as `hand-painted dream photographs’ and had certain favorite and recurring images, such as the human figure with half- open drawers protruding from it, burning giraffes, and watches bent and flowing as if made from melting wax.