Archive for May 11, 2020

Happy Eccentric Birthday Salvador Dali!

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 11, 2020 by echostains


Today is the birthday of the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989)  As I have already written a post about the artist (here) I thought it might be fun to take a look at the personality of Dali the man – the fun bits.   This video I think shows the artist’s very individuality.  Dali illustrates that he is all things to all people (and especially to himself) as he struggles slightly to understand the English language    There is also a childishness, a naivity which I find very charming about the artist.  I suspect that under all the bluster there may have been a rather shy, quiet person.

Dali is one of those people who can be unintentionally funny – though sometimes you are not quite sure what he intends (he was after all a surrealist so strange behaviour is almost compulsory)  The advertisers certainly got their money’s worth from the dramatic Dali in this short advertisement.  Who knew eating chocolate could be such a surreal experience ūüėÄ

The last video shows some of the prolific Dali’s paintings. Where did all the eccentric artists go?  There doesn’t seem to be any to measure up to Dali the man, for his sense of humour, his talent and his bizarre way of looking at things.  What a great artist and character he was!


Thanks to  and   and  for the videos!

Surreal Thing Happy Birthday Dali!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by echostains

Dali is a superb draughtsman.  Some years ago I visited the Dali Universe, County Hall, London. salvador-dali-quotes-famous-best-sayings oneThis 3,000 square metre space housed sculptures, (1935 -1984), lithographs, drawings and wonderful  furniture inspired by Dali: gold and glass objects and  even copies of the famous lobster telephone and the Mae West lips sofa!

There were no major paintings on display, apart from the oil he did for Hitchcock’s¬†‘1945 film ‘Spellbound‘. ¬†I took great delight in looking through Dali’s drawings which are simply exquisite¬†and show not¬†only his draughtsmanship skills, but how exacting and precise his execution of drawing was.¬†His imagination may have been wild, but his skills¬†struck me as very honed and precise, not something I associate with Surrealism.¬† Surreal, I know!


Dali and his wild cat Babou


Too much has been written about this famous Spanish artist: some by myself (please see my earlier birthday posts here and for further Dali eccentricities here ).

Dali loved wild animals.  His favorite pet was a wildcat, an Ocelot, called Babou whom he would take to restaurants, tethering the animal to a table and causing alarm to fellow diners.

The surreal image below shows¬†Dali emerging from the Paris underground taking two Anteaters for a walk (1969). ¬†Andre Breton, (Founder of the Surrealist¬†movement) who was known¬† as ‘le tamanoir’ – ‘the anteater’)¬† used this image as bookplates for several books and Dali was to depict the style of the anteater in his famous 1929 painting ‘The Great Masturbator’

Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets


One of Dali’s famous stunts was staged¬†at London’s International Surrealist Exhibition, 1936 when he gave a lecture whilst wearing a deep-sea¬†diving suit. He very nearly suffocated.¬† His wild exaggerated gestures were mistaken for his usual amusing form of eccentricity.¬† Luckily for him a poet, David Gascoyne rescued Dali – with a spanner!

The Great Masturbator 1929


A mysterious fire broke out in the artist’s bedroom in 1984,¬†fortunately Dali was rescued¬†by a friend, Robert Descharnes.¬† Dali was returned¬†his beloved¬† Figueres , Spain¬†(his birthplace),¬†where¬†his friends and ¬†artists looked after him.¬†In November 1988 he went to hospital with heart failure.¬† On 23rd January 1989, the artist died of heart failure at the age of 84.¬† He is buried¬†in the crypt in his Teatro¬†Museo¬†in Figueres, much loved and much¬†admired by most¬†artists and non artists alike.


Images, with thanks are from here and here     the Ocelot image here, others from here    and here   

For historical characters with unusual pets here

Here’s some stuff you might not know about Dali here