Salvador Dalí

Surrealist painter, filmmaker, photographer, sculptor, jeweler, graphic artist, and writer

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) was born in Catalonia and was raised by his strict father. Dalí's domestic servant encouraged him to act on his artist abilities and by the age of 15, Dalí was participating in his first public art exhibition in Figueres. In 1922, Dalí moved to Madrid following his mother's death and continued to expand his artistic talents. He experimented with Dada and cubism which were two new developments in modern art. In 1926, Dalí was expelled from his art school and traveled to Paris where he met Pablo Picasso who influenced Dalí greatly. Dalí joined the Surrealist Movement, but was later kicked out for his support of Franco's fascist dictatorship. Salvador Dalí was a very eccentric and confident man. He is famous for having said, "Every morning upon waking, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí." His work takes on a strong surrealist and symbolic approach and he has created some of the most iconic artwork of the twentieth century.  

"The Anthropomorphic Cabinet" 1936

Dalí explored the mediums of paint, film, photo paper, sculpting material such as wood, satin, bronze, gold, and gemstones, and jewels such as rubies, emeralds, and diamonds.

"Ship with Butterfly Sails" 1937

Dalí's artwork was influenced by his Arabic lineage, the movements of Impressionism, Pointillism, Cubism, Futurism, and Dadaism. He was also influenced by many famous artists such Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and Giorgio de Chirico. In his artwork, Dalí focused on using an avant garde approach.

"The Persistence of Memory" 1931

Salvador Dalí was very interested in representing the reinterpretation of reality and perception in his artwork which was a new concept for his time. He focused on tapping into his subconscious to create artwork that was beyond reality. Dalí was a very important player in the Surrealist Movement and his work triggered a turning point in art. Many modern artists have taken on Dalí's idea of portraying the inner mind.

"Meditative Rose" 1958

Two child centered activities for exploring Salvador Dalí include having children compare and contrast realist and surrealist pieces and having them create their own surrealist artwork. An example of children making their own surrealist artwork includes having them cut organic shapes out of different colored construction paper and having them use only those shapes to create portraits or their favorite animals.

"Old Couple or Musician" 1930

Here is another example of an activity children could do to explore surrealism. The person in the video creates a city scene with paint then adds a subject from magazine cut-outs.

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