Salvador Dali

Dali Venus di Milo drawers
Visiting the Salvador Dali retrospective at Philadelphia’s Museum of Art made me realize I don’t know much about this strange Spaniard.* I’m more of a Picasso woman, I guess, though thankfully my eyes and other body parts are located in the normal places.

We all know about the melting clocks and the lobster phones, but did you know that Dali dabbled in Cubism, created a rotating hologram of Alice Cooper’s brain, and was obsessed with a Millet painting in which he perceived a woman about to morph into a praying mantis and devour her husband?

Among other things.

One of the exhibit’s sculptures was a Venus dresser (complete with furry knobs). On Saturday night Clair, Special K, and I had a highbrow conversation about this piece, discussing items to put in the chest of drawers. Clair decided that he would put his car keys in Venus’s chest, while Special K opted for the remote control.

Dali might be my new role model. I’m considering embracing Dali’s Paranoiac Critical method and attempting to “systematize confusion and to thus help discredit completely the world of reality.” Dali might have been a raving lunatic, but that last sentence is a damn good mission statement.

*Scott was there too, but he is more worldly than I and already knew a lot about Dali.

18 responses to “Salvador Dali”

  1. Jen

    That hologram is from the early 70s, so I think it’s obvious that he was on drugs.

  2. Tintil

    I am more fascinated by the knee drawer rather than the boob drawer. It just seems more appealing to me, somehow; possibly because it’s the only vertical drawer.

    It seems as though it would be perfect for storing a small book on postmodernism, a selection of pom-poms or a stash of Class A drugs.

  3. Becky

    Yeah, I just kind of assumed that Dali was on something, but I read here (can’t vouch for the source) that he just said no:

    The paranoiac-critical method was simple. The artist tricks himself into going insane, while somewhere deep within remembering that the reason for the insanity is to create a great work of art. Dali chose to do it the hard way — by actually going mad, rather than simulating madness through chemical means. “I don’t take drugs. I am drugs,” he once explained.

    This quote could be turned into a great public service announcement for kids: don’t take drugs, be drugs!

    Tintil, the knee drawer might also be a good place for one of those new iPod shuffles.

  4. Tom

    Dali was a genius because he understood exactly what the most important thing about art is… to make money. Dali had no intention of being one of those starving misunderstood artists whose paintings become worth millions after he is dead. Dali was one of those millionaire misunderstood artists who laughs all the way to the bank.

  5. Theresa

    the only difference between myself and a madman, is that I am not a man.

  6. Scott

    Becky, your blog is worth millions already. Awwww.

    I think you can do much worse than have Dali as a role model. Sure he was a bit eccentric, and he had a poor self image, and hated his father, and had lots of hang ups about sex… but who isn’t like that?

  7. Becky

    Okay, I had to resort to Google to understand Theresa’s comment. Damn these worldy and witty art people.

    Scott, for your information, I do not hate Moon Pappy.

  8. Scott

    You completely overlooked the compliment, Becky. Sheesh, some people.

    It is good that you don’t hate your father, but what about the rest? Hmmm?

  9. dragonballyee

    I posted on just how rediculous [in a good and bad way] Dalí was. He hated the blind. How they walked, everything. He said that he once was so frustrated by a blind person that he went up to him and kicked him down the street. He then said that not only does he paint in a surrealist mode, but he lives it as well.

    What a character.

  10. Becky

    Sorry, Scott. I was reading so fast that I only saw the last part of your comment. Thanks for the compliment; from now I will only respond for your first sentence.

  11. Brad


    After seeing your comments over at Scott’s blog and his references to Good Grief I thought it was high time to check it out. Very cool. I’ll be back.

    I hope you aren’t averse to sarcastic and often pointless comments.

    Have a great weekend.


  12. Scott

    Many of my best sentences are the second ones, but it is your lose I suppose.

    I was going to tell you that I got Viggo’s private phone number, and he told me to let any interested ladies know, but I suppose it wasn’t meant to be.

  13. yoko

    oh my goodness– ants on the banner. What’s next, a rotting goat’s head?

    I hope to see the Dali exhibit next week!

  14. very metal

    How will we succeed on quizzes like these without fake art reviews?

  15. SuperwomansHusband

    This guy was a COMPLETE wack job. He had amazing talent, some of the paintings had the most detailed tiny images I’ve ever seen, but come on. He shaves his head, bury’s it in the sand and then takes picures with a shellfish on his head to signify some type of intelligent bullshit. Geez dude, lighten up.

  16. Becky

    To fully appreciate the above, one has to know Superwoman’s Husband in real life and be able to hear the voice along with the commentary.

    SWH, I hear you.

  17. Sassy J

    Becky–how can you say you are a Picasso Woman? Here’s some quotes from your link above:

    “Like all the women in his life, Dora was cruelly abused emotionally by the narcissistic Picasso.”

    “Uniquely among Picasso’s women, Francoise eventually left Picasso in 1953 because of his abusive treatment and infidelities. This came as a severe blow to Picasso, who was used to submissive women who lived for whatever scraps of affection or attention he deigned to give them.”

    And don’t even get me started about Gaugin giving deathy syphilis to young girls 40 years younger them him–repeatedly which killed them. My advice, stay away from artist–dead or alive for romantic encounters.

  18. Sassy J

    JJ and RR–Robert Rauschenberg. And to clarify–I was trying to post as my boss came into my office previously–am chagrined to have misspelled Gauguin.