As mentioned in a previous post about inspiring artwork, i'll post about some wellknown and unknown artists, which inspired and influenced me a lot.
Today i'll talk about Salvador Dalí­, one of the most important painters of the 20th century. His symbolism employed in a extensive way in his work.

The elephant is a recurring image in many of Dali's works, appearing first in his 1944 work Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The elephants, inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's sculpture base in Rome of an elephant to carry an ancient obelisk, are portrayed "with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire"along with obelisks on their backs. Coupled with the image of their brittle legs, these encumbrances, noted for their phallic overtones, create a sense of phantom reality. "The elephant is a distortion in space," one analysis explains, "its spindly legs contrasting the idea of weightlessness with structure.

"...I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly.
-- Salvador Dali, in Dawn Ades, Dali­ and Surrealism.

I clearly remember my first migraine. I was visiting with friends, when a strange zig zag of light flashed across one eye, almost like lightening. Like a Salvatore Dali painting everything seemed surreal, almost as if the room were melting. People were talking to me, but I couldn't understand. Like an out of body experience, I felt disoriented and weak, my arm went numb and everything seemed as if I were looking through broken glass. Then came the pain. The awful throbbing pain that lasted for two days with no relief. I was sure it was brain tumor, so I went to a neurologist who, after much testing, told me I suffered from classic migraine.

Although Salvador Dalí is considered as the greatest artist of the surrealist art movement, his personality caused a lot of controversy during his lifetime: the public got a picture of an excentric paranoid.


Instead of depicting scenes of reality enhanced through creative distortion and subtle manipulation, as the Impressionists had, Dalí and his contemporaries sought to capture emotional states using archetypical symbols and dream imagery.

The results were often astounding, and often astoundingly disturbing. As a teenager learning a trade, Dalí's still lifes and landscapes had been competent but somewhat uninspired.

In 1974 Dalí opened the Teatro Museo Dalí in Figures, Spain. This was followed by retrospectives in Paris and London at the end of the decade. After the death of his wife, Gala, in 1982, Dalí’s health began to fail. He lived as an invalid near his Teatro Museo and died in 1989..

With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Dalí­ fled from fighting and refused to align himself with any group. Likewise, after World War II, George Orwell criticized Dalí for scuttl[ing] off like rat as soon as France is in danger after Dalí prospered there for years: When the European War approaches he has one preoccupation only: how to find a place which has good cookery and from which he can make a quick bolt if danger comes too near.

Thanks to Dali­ wiki.
Artwork is taken from Virtual Dali.

Salvador Dalí