HELLO DALI: A SURREAL INTERVIEW WITH SALVADOR DALI -- Spanish-born artist Salvador Domingo Filipe Jacinto Dali di Domènech (1904-1989) spent his entire life being very clever – having been expelled twice from the Royal Academy of Art in Madrid Spain in his youth, claiming he was more qualified as an artist than those would have examined him – with history proving him right on this one. So, in 1928 he packed up his bags and paintbrushes and headed to Paris – the capital of all things artistic in the early twentieth century -- and met those titans of art Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro and by the time 1929 rolled around Dali had established his unique brand of art known as Surrealism (the Surrealist theory is based on those of renowned Viennese psychologist Dr. Sigmund Freud). Dali’s mad, dream-into-nightmare, colorful imagery secured him a singular place in art history. At Studio of Style, we enjoy peering into the minds of genius as much as we do observing the art – so here is Dali in his own wonderfully surreal words!
Studio of Style: Why surrealistic art?
Dali: Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision. Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the objective forces at work in the society in which they live, but also about the intensely social character of their interior lives. Ultimately, it can propel people toward social emancipation. Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums.
Studio of Style: Did you always want to be an artist?
Dali: At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since! In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob!
Studio of Style: Is art ever perfect?
Dali: I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject – rather, does the person grow to look like his portrait? Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary -- rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them. And it is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.
Studio of Style: What about drawing?
Dali: Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad. And painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality.
Studio of Style: What is your secret to your creativity?
Dali: The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret! I don't do drugs. I am drugs! Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali!
Studio of Style: Have you achieved success?
Dali: The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents. Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory!
Studio of Style: Is there such a thing as happiness?
Dali: There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction!
Studio of Style: Or purity?
Dali: When I was five years old, I saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. Through the holes of its anatomy, one could see the sky. Every time I wish to attain purity, I look at the sky through flesh.
Studio of Style: Some people thing you’re a bit strange….
Dali: I am not strange – I am just not normal! The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.