Salvador Dali was born in Figueres Spain in 1904 to Don Salvador Dali y Cuse and Felipa. In 1907, his sister Ana Maria was born; she was his only sibling. At an early age Dali began his strange behavior, he was prone to tantrums, self-induced coughing fits and wet the bed until age eight, as he knew this upset his father. After a year at public school, Dali was still unable to read and write he was then sent to a Christian school, however that did not improve his scholastic abilities (BBC).


In 1914, German artist Sigfrid Burman gave Dali his first set of oil paints while the family was vacationing in Cadaques, Spain (daliprint). Five years later, Dali had his first public exhibition in the style of Cubism (duke). In the early 1920s, his sister was his only female model. At this time he was attending the Madrid Fine Arts school as his father wanted him to gain skill to become a teacher. It was here that he met Luis Burnel and Lorca who would eventually replace his sister as chief model (BBC). In 1925, Dali had his first stand alone exhibit at the Galery of Dalmare (Duke).

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In 1929 and 1930, Dali collaborated with his friend Louis Burnel on motion pictures enabling him to create jarring juxtapositions, these films were Un Chien Andalau (1929) and Lagedor (1930). These films were considered the surrealist style and Lagedor caused riots in the streets of Paris (BBC). It was around this time that he met and eloped with Gala Eluard, it is rumored that they never consummated their marriage, as Dali could not stand to be touched. Never the less they remained together for fifty-three years (BBC).


In the 1930s Dali expanded upon surrealism calling his work critical paranoia. According to this theory one should cultivate genuine delusion as in critical paranoia while keeping in the back of ones mind that the control of reason and will has been deliberate set aside. He thought this reasoning should not only apply to art but also to ones daily life (Duke).
In 1937, he moved to Italy and was expelled from the Surrealist ranks by Brenton, this was because of his support for Franco during the Spanish Civil War. This was a busy year for Dali as he also wrote a screenplay for the Marx Brothers. In 1938, while visiting London Dali met Sigmond Freud and proceeds to make several drawings of him (Encarta).


In 1941, Dali and Gala moved to New York and in 1942 he had his first retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (BBC). In the 1960s, he began publishing books and entered into a ten-year contract with the publisher Pierre Argillite to produce illustrations for several books (Duke).


Besides painting and motion pictures, Dali also created sculptures, jewelry design and work for the theater. In 1981, Dali was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, his wife Gala died the next year with Dali joining her in 1989 (Duke). Salvador Dali went through many stylistic changes throughout his life and explored many mediums; the attached links offer many different works of this complex and slightly off kilter artist.


http://www.daliprintgallery.com
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/certurions/dali
http://encarta.msn.com
http://www.duke.edu/web/lit132/dalibio.html
Tina Bodkins

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