One of my favorite Surrealist painters, or artists in general is Salvador Dali. (Even named my dog, "Sal" after him.) I don't really know of a work of his that dissappoints me, they're all so strange and wonderful, innovative... make you think. Nearing the end of the week, and I can only hope for some sort of peace of mind for the weekend, but given my luck, and my in-laws, i'm sure something will sour that one. Therefore, I thought I would just enjoy a bit of Dali. What Would Dali Do (if he were dreading his in-laws over the weekend, or expecting something to disturb his peaceful time)? He certainly wouldn't let anyone take his mind off his art. He'd probably go on creating and paint something in spiteful homage to whatever it was that ticked him off. I really should model my thought process more closely to his. Hmmmm, let's have a "pretend visit" between Dali and me, wherein I go to him for advice (indulge me for a moment).
Me: "Dali, it's hard keeping up with the times. I worry that the older I get I am not "with it" or modern!"
Dali: "Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid."
Me: "Well, I guess you're right. But sometimes I wake up depressed and worried about these things, as well as not being good enough."
Dali: "Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy — the joy of being Salvador Dalí — and I ask myself in rapture, ‘What wonderful things is this Salvador Dalí going to accomplish today? And, There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction."
Me: "Must be nice... but, I see your point there, we should really develop an ego about ourselves, right? I mean, who else is going to love us, or think we're great if we ourselves don't?? But it's hard sometimes, I try but I just can't seem to achieve perfection."
Dali: "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
Me: "...But...That's not a very encouraging thing to say!""
Dali: "Right now I'm the greatest. I don't say this out of vanity - it's just that the rest are so bad."
Me: "Now i'm beginning to feel a bit insulted. I'll have you know, I'm a very intelligent woman and I can do anything I want to do... Just as well or BETTER than you... maybe."
Dali: "Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."
Me: "Duly noted." (sitting quietly)
Dali continues, "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."
Me: "I see what you're saying... you have to constantly reach for higher goals and try, and do your best. Of course, I do want to be successful, some day. I feel like I just make so many mistakes."
Dali: "The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents. 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."
Me: "Nobody ever takes me seriously though, I never seem to get the respect from others as I deserve."
Dali: "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. But, 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."
Me: "Oh all this is giving me a headache, I need an Advil."
Dali: "I don't do drugs. I am drugs. Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic."
Me: "Well, I love your art and all, but I don't think it's going to blast this migrane... Are you crazy?"
Dali: "There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad."
Me: "Well, I didn't really mean for you to answer that. You're quite an influential man, though, I always have admired you and your work."
Dali: "The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret."
Me: "Good point there. The world is just getting so outrageous and ridiculous... or maybe it's just me."
Dali: "I have Dalinian thought: the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous."
Me: "Maybe you're right Dali. So, talk to you later then? Thanks for the chat.
As I said, brilliant man-most of his works are very cool. This one, in which he collaborated on (not solely his), was so cool that they used it in miniature for the poster for "Silence of the Lambs" (great flick if you haven't seen it). It is entitled [In Voluptas Mors by Philippe Halsmann in collaboration with Salvador Dalí, 1951]
Click Here to See the Silence of the Lambs poster for Yourself!