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Salvadore Dali - Born an Artist, Died a Legend

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Flamboyant, mischievous, undeniable skills of artistry, and a key factor of the surrealism movement. Salvadore Dali was born May 11th, 1904 in Figueres Catalonia, Spain. He enrolled in different art schools, where he experimented with different types of art styles. He later travelled and made connections with other artists which, in turn, sparked his interest in the psychoanalytic methods of surrealism. Salvador Dali lived with his mother, father, brother, and sister. They were a middle-class family in the small town of Figueres just outside of Barcelona. His mother was very supportive of his artistic abilities and encouraged it. His father was a lawyer and notary who also supported his artistry. He took his first drawing class at the age of 10. His older brother died of gastroenteritis when Dali was little. When Dali was 16, he lost his mother to breast cancer. He described this as “the greatest blow I had experienced in my life.” His father, who still encouraged his artistic abilities, hosted a solo exhibition in their home of his charcoal drawings when he was 19. He later was enrolled into the Madrid School of Fine Arts, where he experimented with art styles such as impressionism and pointillism. In 1922, Dali enrolled in the Special Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving School of San Fernando in Madrid. This is when he discovered and embraced his flamboyant and eccentric persona. He dressed in the style of English aesthetes of the 19th century. Artistically, he dabbled with many of the different art styles and continued to progress his artistic skills. He made a lot of connections due to his interest and involvement in a small group of artists whom which included filmmaker and Luis Bunuel and poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

The scene exposed Dali to many different styles and some of the greatest minds of the time such as Einstein and Stravinsky. He was later expelled from the San Fernando art school after he insulted his professor during his final examination before graduation. After his days at San Fernando were over, Dali took an enlightening trip to Paris where he met the famous cubist artist Pablo Picasso. This spawned his interests in what the Cubists were doing and this later moved onto an interest in the Futurists attempts to recreate motion and show objects from all angels.

After that, he began his study of the psychoanalytic concepts of Freud, which created the surrealist methods he is famous for. His first painting that showed these concepts of a different reality, beautiful landscapes, and symbolic imagery was his piece “Apparatus and Hand” (1927). With his new art style, he conjured the unrealistic paintings of a dream-like state and pushed the idea that life is the greatest form of art. His persistence to mine out his inner thoughts to the core created the passion and purity of his surrealist imagery and spawned the free-flowing ways of surrealism to its fullest. His groundbreaking legacy will live forever, unforgotten, he was born an artist and died a legend.

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