|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/06/17 11:47 英语沙龙|
When Salvador Dalíwas born in 1904 in Figueras, Spain, he was actually the third Salvador Dalí. His father was named Salvador, and he had an older brother, who had died 9 months before Dalí's own birth. Because of the incredibly coincidental dates between the death of the first child and the birth of the second, Salvador Dalí's parents chose to look at the second son as a reincarnation1 of the first. Salvador Dalíwas actually told that he was the reincarnation of his dead brother, and Dalíhimself admitted that the ghostly memory of this lost sibling was to haunt him for the rest of his life. He said in several of his writings that the dualistic2 stresses imposed upon him, that of living both as himself, and his dead brother, caused in him a particular obsession with decay and putrefaction3. This is where many of his disturbing images like decaying corpses, insects began forming. In addition, Dalíwas teased by the local schoolchildren, who often threw insects, especially grasshoppers4 at him. The grasshopper became a distinct symbol of revulsion5 and horror for Dalí, especially during his Surrealist6 period. Thus it can be said that the events of Dalí's first 7 years of life profoundly influenced his psyche7 and thus his destiny.
Dalíbegan painting in earnest at about the age of 10. Most of the works done by Dalías a young teenager were of the landscape surrounding Figueras. In 1917, Dalí's father arranged a small exhibition of his son's charcoal1 drawings at their home. It was to be the first of many occasions in which people would marvel at the wonder of Salvador Dalí's abilities.
At the time that Dalí's mother died in 1921, Dalíthought of himself mainly as a Impressionist2 painter. Although Dalí's father remarried his late wife's sister soon thereafter, this was a turbulent time for Dalí, as he struggled to form his own adult identity away from that of his family, and especially his father. Soon thereafter, in 1922, Dalíwas accepted at the Special School of Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving, also known as the Academia de San Fernando, in Madrid.
Once he passed the entrance exams, Dalímoved into the Residencia de Estudiantes (the student dormitories) where he was destined to meet with other great young minds of his time. It was in about 1923 that Dalífirst started to experiment with cubism3, often locked away in the seclusion4 of his own room. When his peers discovered him secretly at work on the Cubist paintings, he instantly became of a campus personality, vaulting5 from standard membership to a leader of an avantgarde group of young Spanish intellectuals.
In 1926 Dalíwas expelled from the San Fernando Academy, because of his refusal to take his final oral exams. When told that the final exam topic would be about Raphael6, Dalíexclaimed that he knew much more about the subject than did his examiners, and thus he refused to take the test. His expulsion7 adds an interesting twist to his story that the most influential Surrealist painter of our time never actually obtained a formal art degree.
It was in 1928 that Dalífirst obtained true international exposure, when his oil painting Basket of Bread was shown at the Carnegie International Exposition in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. This photo realistic work is a fine example of Dalí's mastery over yet another artistic style. Painting in the beautiful and so real style of the Dutch masters, works like the paintings of Jan Vermeer8 heavily influenced Dalías he was maturing.
In 1929, two things happened to Salvador Dalíthat hastened him down the path to greatness. First was his chance meeting with Gala ?luard in 1929 in Cadaqués. She was at that point the wife of the famous French poet, Paul ?luard1, but as soon as she and Dalímet, they became inseparable. The other important event was that Dalídecided to formally join the Paris Surrealists in this same year. In January, he met with Luis Bunuel in Figueras to work on a script for the film which would eventually be known as Un chien andalou (An Andalusian Dog). He also had his first one man show in Paris at Goeman's Gallery, and was soon on his way to the top. However, there was a price to pay for all this success. Disapproving of his relationship with Gala, Dalí's father threw him out of the house, starting an estrangement2 that would last almost 30 years before being healed.
With no income to support them, Gala and Dalímoved into a small shack3 in a small village called Port Ligat, to the north. There they spent many secluded hours together, as Dalíchurned out4 paintings which could be sold to support them. In 1937 Dalívisited Italy and adopted a more traditional style; this together with his political views(he was a supporter of General Franco5) made Dalíexpelled from the Surrealist Group of Paris.
Of all the Surrealism achievements, there is one that stands out above all the others. The Paranoiac6 Critical Method was a sensibility,or way of perceiving reality that was developed by Salvador Dalí. It was defined by Dalíhimself as “irrational knowledge” based on a “delirium7 of interpretation.” More simply put, it was a process by which the artist found new and unique ways to view the world around him. It is the ability of the artist or the viewer to perceive multiple images within the same configuration8. The concept can be compared to Max Ernst's9 frottage10 or Leonardo da Vinci's11 scribbling12 and drawings. As a matter of fact, all of us have practiced the Paranoiac Critical Method when gazing at stucco1 on a wall, or clouds in the sky, and seeing different shapes therein. Dalíelevated this uniquely human characteristic into his own artform.
Dalí, though not a true paranoid, was able to simulate a paranoid state, without the use of drugs, and upon his return to “normal perspective” he would paint what he saw and envisioned therein.
Dalíwas able to create what he called “hand painted dream photographs” which were physical, painted representations of the hallucinations2 and images he would see while in his paranoid state. Although he certainly had his own load of mental problems to bear, it can be said that Dalí's delusions and paranoid hallucinations did not totally dominate his mind, as he was able to convey them to canvas with his miraculous skill. It is in this context that one of Dalí's most famous statements takes on a whole new meaning and understanding.
“The only difference between myself and a madman, is that I am not mad!”
Indeed, Dalíused his very Paranoiac Critical Method to enter alternate levels of reality, in which his perceptions were markedly different from everyday reality. His Surreal training had served him well, but paintings like Slave Market with Disappearing Bust of Voltaire 1940, showed that he was quickly outgrowing even their influence. He was developing a style totally unique that would become a watershed3 event in art, that of integrating the surreal with the everyday, so as to offer it to everyone.
Dalímoved to the U.S. in 1940, where he remained until 1948. His later paintings, often on religious themes, are more classical in style. Salvador Dalídied on January 23, 1989.
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