Musing on Dali

Dali is fascinating. Just Saturday I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and got stuck at a painting of his. You may know it they have it in the hallway as you enter the Modern Wing. Here is a link for it: http://vr.theatre.ntu.edu.tw/hlee/course/th6_520/sty_20c/painting/dali-02X.jpg

Observers have noted that this work is actually a marriage between faith and science, hence the scientific and mathematical angular cube meeting Christ. This marriage by Dali has been labeled “Nuclear Mysticism”, in short, a marriage of Christian imagery with modern forms and depictions. Dali considered himself a modern alchemist.
Paintings like this reassure me of the significance of surrealism. They reassure me of the importance of things which I cannot completely explain why they affect me in coherent, academic language, yet still allowing myself to experience them. If this painting subconsciously affects me, perhaps subconsciously I understand it and it is helping me deal with certain frustrations or confusions. There are many surrealist artists, but Dali is one of few who is able to convince me that another world of the subconscious could be as real as the perceived one. In looking at his art I am reminded of Jung’s archetypes, his re-occurring symbols that affect me in an indescribable way proves the power of social symbols. He is also connected to our class’s forefather Freud. Dali had a genuine interest in the mind and dreaming. His interest in the enigma of the mind brought him into contact with Sigmund Freud. The meetings occurred in 1938, when Freud was ailing in his London residence. Dali would draw numerous portraits of the father of dream interpretation. Later, he would design the dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” we saw. As said before I think art is the best medium to depict the subconscious. But even in art it is very difficult to depict the unconscious in a way the observer can really understand and even possibly vocalize; and Kafka and Dali have been two of the best at this I have found to date.

I have read two interesting facts about Dali: he never hid the fact that he was an avid drug taker… and before meeting the love of his life, his wife Gala, whom he considered to be his muse, he had also made it known that he considered himself to be “the Great Masturbator.”

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2 Responses to “Musing on Dali”


  1.   

    I know many people adore Dali. I can see that he’s, technically, a very skilled painting with a very specific point of view and, certainly, a prolific output. There is just something I don’t trust about his work. Perhaps, it’s because I,too, can see that he was, as you say, a “Great Masturbator,” a scheming self promoter. I don’t know. Perhaps I’d feel differently if all I knew of him was his art but his persona is one of his most developed pieces and it’s not one that resonates with me.


  2.   

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people do not talk about these subjects. To the next! All the best!!

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