With an exceptional career that lasted for more than sixty years, Salvador Dalí is doubtlessly the most inspiring person in latest art.
He is known for leaving an astounding legacy behind after his death in 1989, which consists of his popular Surrealist paintings, sculptures, pictures and films.
Being an influential person from childhood, Dalí always wanted to test his private, social, and work life limits. He used to be so passionate about his work and was always a hustler.
Let’s explore some surprising facts about Dalí’s extraordinary life. Here are 10 super interesting facts about Salvador Dalí that may be unknown to you.
1. Dalí Was A Reincarnation Of His Deceased Brother
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As often mistook, Dalí’s father’s name was not Salvador. His brother’s name was Salvador, who died before Dalí was born. In his early childhood, he visited his brother’s rest place.
He was told that he was a reincarnation of his dead sibling. He used to call his deceased brother “the first version of myself but conceived too much in the absolute.” He always included his deceased sibling in his artworks. In 1963 he made a portrait named “Portrait of My Dead Brother.”
2. Painting Very Early In His Childhood
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Dalí was exceptionally creative and talented from a very young age. He was a young artist and star and had different imaginations from childhood and started using them. Dalí was encouraged to practice his talent from early childhood.
Dalí made his first painting in 1910 at the age of six, It was named Landscape of Figueres. This oil painting showed the scenery of his Catalonia house with the greenery and mountains. At present, this painting is hanging in the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. He made his second childhood painting at the age of nine. Dalí used to spend his time with his family in Cadaques. He used to utilize this time to explore his imagination and sceneries of the village and then use it in his art.
3. Expelled From School
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Salvador Dalí had a rebellious nature. His talent was encouraged from a very young age, especially by his mother. His mother passed away when he was only sixteen. Dalí was famous for his unique behavior and dressing at Fine Arts Academy.
Dalí was expelled from his art learning center twice. He didn’t graduate. He first got expelled due to participating in a student protest in 1923. Then he got discharged in 1926, just before his finals. According to the artist, the reason for getting expelled was not sitting for the oral exam. He stated,” I am infinitely more intelligent than these three professors, and I, therefore, refuse to be examined by them. I know this subject much too well.” This expulsion never had a negative impact on him as he continued to prosper in life.
4. Not Into Drugs
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Dalí’s unconventional behavior and surreal artwork often confuse people into thinking that he did drugs, but it was not like that. He never used any drug to change his mental condition. He once said, “I don’t do drugs; I am drugs.” To boost his art, at the starting of the 1930s, he tried the paranoiac-critical method. This used to give him control over his imagination. It was a pivotal grant to the Surrealist movement. He would often stare continuously at a specific object until it altered into another form of the item, giving a sense of delusion.
5. Dalí Couldn’t Make Place In Surrealist’s Heart
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Dalí was a significant member of the Surrealist movement, but the other members of the group were not happy with the fact that he made it very earlier than them. The group was full of communists who were not satisfied with Dalí. The group members were also not satisfied with his liking towards Hitler. Dalí said, “I often dreamed about Hitler as other men dreamed about women,” and included Hitler in his artwork. He made an artwork depicting how Hitler looked in his dreams.
In a meeting in 1934, André Breton tried to expel Dalí from the Surrealist group, writing “Dalí having been found guilty on several occasions of counterrevolutionary actions involving the glorification of Hitlerian fascism, the undersigned propose that he be excluded from surrealism as a fascist element and combated by all available means.” But, Dalí stood firm on his grounds. He supported Francisco Franco and visited him many times.
6. Not A Conventional Marriage
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Dalí’s wife Elena Ivanovna Diakonova- Gala, was previously married to the poet Paul Éluard when she met Dalí in 1929. Dalí was 10 years younger than her. Feelings of love quickly developed on both sides, and Gala, divorced Éluard, but they were still close. Dalí’s family was a little against him marrying a Russian divorcee ten years older than him. They got married in 1943 in a civil ceremony. Gala had a vital role in Dalí’s artistic career. She became his muse and managed his business.
By the 1959s, rumors of Gala’s extramarital affairs began to spread. People said Dalí supported this act. In 1969 Dalí bought her a castle in Púbol, but it was a condition that he can enter with a written invitation only. Undoubtedly, throughout their lives, they had intense love between them. Dalí wrote, “I would polish Gala to make her shine, make her the happiest possible, caring for her more than myself, because, without her, it would all end.”
7. Doing Pranks
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Dalí had a funny personality and he liked to do pranks on people. People used to call him a con man. Dalí’s close friends recall how he pranked Yoko Ono. He sold her grass blade for 10,000 dollars. Ono wanted Dalí to give him a piece of hair from his notorious mustache. Dalí never turned anyone down, so he became a little prankster. “Dali thought that Yoko Ono was a witch and might use it in a spell. He didn’t want to send her a personal item, much less one of his hairs,” Lear explained. “So he sent me to the garden to find a dry blade of grass and sent it off in a nice presentation box. The idiot paid 10,000 dollars for it. It amused him to rip people off.”
8. Collaboration With Disney
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Salvador Dalí and John Hench collaborated in 1946 to work on Destino, an animated movie. Dalí made twenty-two oil paintings and numerous hand-made drawings. Hench converted them into the storyboards of the movie.
However, after just eight months, the work had to be stopped because of financial issues. Thus, the film was not completed. Only 15 seconds of the demo were filmed.
Destino’s production was revived by Walt Disney’s nephew and longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, Roy E. Disney, in 1999. The completed 6 minutes short came out in 2003, and it tells about the surreal journey of a ballerina through a desert area.
9. Chupa Chups Logo Was Designed By Dalí
Besides being a surrealist artist, Dalí had remarkable graphic designing skills. When the owner of Chupa Chups had issues with branding, Dalí helped him out with his unique talents.
Dalí never hesitated to work commercially. He created several ads for Gap. In 1968 he was featured in an advertisement for Lanvin chocolates. His nickname was “Avida Dollars” or “eager for dollars.” This was given by the father of surrealism, André Breton himself. His memorable contribution to graphic designing was designing the Chupa Chups logo. This logo was created for the Spanish lollipop brand. This is the everlasting logo which they are still using.
He diligently designed the Chupa Chups logo in the background of a bright mustard-colored daisy shape.
Dalí was always a very keen observer and had an excellent sense of presentation. After designing the Chupa Chups logo, he suggested the company use this logo on top of the lolly/candy rather than on the sides where it could get hide. He wanted his logo to be seen intact always.
10. He Made His Museum
After the Spanish Civil War, Figueres suffered a lot. This inspired Dalí to reconstruct the cultural heritage of the city. He contributed to the making of The Municipal Theatre of Figueres, later named The Dalí Theatre-Museum. It was one of the largest projects of his life. Yann Weymouth, an architect of HOK, designed this museum. This museum exhibits all the work of Dalí. It has a massive collection of over 2400 art pieces of Dalí in different categories. It consists of his raw drawings, oil paintings, illustrations, books, and scripts.
The museum celebrates the art of Salvador Dalí by making new additions over the years. It is a nonprofit museum just to celebrate Dalí’s life. The Dalí museum got international recognition with three stars. It is on the list of the most interesting museums in the world.