Salvador Dali was born Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto i Domėnch in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. His magnificent repertoire spanned over six decades and encompassed drawings, paintings, printmaking, film, sculpturetapestry and photography in various media.
Highly imaginative, Dali indulged in grandiose, peculiar behavior, often times beyond that exhibited by his contemporaries of the counter-establishment Surrealist movement. Technically skilled, Dali created dream-like, bizarre images and is credited for ushering in a new generation of imaginative expression that arguably took Surrealism to a new level.
Dali is one of the world’s most celebrated and iconic figures of the art world perhaps due to, or in spite of, his personality and eccentricities. He was raised to believe he was the reincarnation of his dead brother (who had died nine months prior to Dali’s birth), and was given his same name, that was also his father’s. Imagery of this dead brother permeated many of Dali’s works throughout his lifetime.
Work / Education
In 1922 Dalí gained admission to the Academy. He enjoyed the freedom of self- expression he felt in Madrid, and developed close relationships with several of his fellow students including Federico García Lorca and Luis Buñuel (two artists he would later collaborate with). Dalí experimented with several avant-garde painting styles, primarily Cubism, Futurism and Purism, which he learned about through reproductions in art journals. He began showing his work in galleries in Barcelona and Madrid and had two solo exhibitions, as well as showing his work in several other exhibitions with other Catalan modernists. Though he was experiencing success in the Spanish art world, Dalí felt unchallenged by his instructors at the Academy. His tendency to challenge the authority of the Academy and to encourage his peers to do the same, led to disciplinary actions and eventually to his dismissal in 1926. Following his dismissal, Dalí returned to Figueres and devoted himself to painting. He continued to exhibit with the Catalan avant-garde, but his works displayed an increasingly disturbing imagery of mutilation and decay. Even the Catalan art community became more and more horrified by his graphic depictions, and as a result galleries in Madrid and Barcelona began to exclude Dalí from exhibitions.