Salvador Domingo Dali
This is the story about Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech. He was prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres. He was a skilled draftsman best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. He was also one of most important figures in the history of Modernism. Both Dali’s extraordinary talent and odd personality helped him to rise above the rest of the surrealist of the 20th century. From his self-portrait painted in July 1929 “The great masturbator”, his loathing of sex is seen. He blamed his negative feelings towards sex as partly a result of reading his father’s extremely graphic book on venereal diseases as a young boy (Ross, 34).
Salvador Dali: Biography and Legacy
His portrait ‘The Invisible Man’ also reflects his fear of sex, his use of grasshoppers in most of his paintings also shows his fear of these insects. This insect is enveloped by the tingling desire of the ants and symbolizes Dali’s sexual fears. In this painting (The great masturbator) Dali’s head has the shape of a rock formation near his home and is seen in this form in several paintings. The painting deals with his fear and loathing of sex. The head is painted “soft” as if malleable to the touch; it looks fatigued, sexually spent: the eyes are closed and cheeks flushed. Emerging from the right of the head, a woman moves her mouth towards a man’s crotch (Ross, 54).
The man’s legs are cut and bleeding, which signifies the fear of castration. The woman’s face is cracked, as though the image will disintegrate. To reiterate the sexual theme, the stamen of a lily and tongue of a lion appear underneath the couple. Gala who was Dali’s wife fell in love after Paul Eluard, who was a French poet of the unrealistic movement came visiting Dali with his wife Gala. There relationship, Dali’s and Gala, lasted fifty years. In the portrait of ‘Paul Eluard’ Dali defined the head as symbolic of the fear of sexual performance with a woman, he was a virgin when he met Gala.
In 1922 Dali moves into the Residencia de Estudiantes (student’s residence) in Madrid where he became close friends with (among others) Pepin Bello, Luis Bunuel, and Federico Garcia Lorca. The friendship with Lorca had a strong element of mutual passion; however Dali rejected the erotic advances of the poet. Here he came into contact with homosexuality in the real form. His obsessions with Hitler is also form of sexual immorality in one of his paintings”Le Spectre te le Fantome” Dali talks about his obsession with Hitler which he partly called “soft flesh “of his back, which was tightly held by his uniform. He confessed of dreaming of Hitler as a wet nurse sitting knitting in a puddle (Wach 96).
The woman in this painting has a small cut taken out of her back that emphasizes this obsession with “Hitlerian” flesh. Dali’s childhood was marked by events that affected his character and work. His being named after his late brother and been told that he is a reincarnation him led him to struggle to prove that he himself existed. Sex was another of his worries, his father was a regular of the prostitutes in brothels believed that his elder son had died of some kind of venereal disease transmitted by him, so he came up with a solution which in the long run left young Salvador with fear and loath of sex. His remedy was to give Salvador books containing pictures of the lesions caused by syphilis, this frightened and repulsed Dali and he came to associate with sexuality as a whole. He later avoided all forms of contact which led him to rely on onanism as his source of pleasure (Wach 173).
Salvador lost his mother at an early age of sixteen, she had aide of breast cancer he later said hi mother’s death “was the greatest blow to I had experience in my life. I worshipped her… I could not resign myself to the loss of a being on which I counted to make invisible the unavoidable blemishes of my soul. His relationship with Gala was received with much disapproval by his father. Don Salvador strongly disapproved of his son’s connection also with the Surrealists since he considered it a bad influence on his son, morals. The last we could presume came when Don Salvador read in Barcelona newspaper that his son had recently exhibited in Paris a drawing of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ”, with a provocative inscription “Sometimes. I spit for fun on my mother’s portrait.”
The father demanded that Dali recant publicly but Dali refused perhaps out of fear for expulsion from the Surrealist group, which led to him been thrown out of his partial home. His father told him he would disinherit him and Dali seemed to claim that in response he handed his father acondom containing his own sperm saying take that, “I owe you nothing any more.” (Dali, 50) . This did seem a little exaggerated considering the fear we have felt from his paintings relating to sex. It may or may not explain a lot for knowing Dali it’s unlike him to say such words about his mother whom he claims hold dear to him. It shows that his father’s fear were true that the surrealist did a lot of harm to his morals.
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