Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Art of Salvador Dali (1904-89) 22.4.1994

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Pubol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989), known as Salvador Dalí was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painting  skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media. Dalí attributed his "love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes "to an" Arab lineage", claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics.
The six stamps on these three FDCs are part of an eight stamp set which feature some of Dali’s famous pantings. The cover too features one of Dali’s paintings. Paintings shown on the stamps are:-

(18)'Poetry of America: Cosmic Athletes'.
 The painting pays homage to America, the country where Dali lived during the Second World War.  (18) Portrait of Gala. Gala Dalí (7 September 1894 – 10 June 1982), usually known simply as Gala, was the ethnic Russian wife of, first, Paul Éluard, then Salvador Dalí. 

(29) El Gran Masturbador. He painted it just before meeting Gala. His needs in Paris by that time became his grief. It’s a self-portrait where their sexual desires and fears are reflected. By then Dalí was still a virgin.  
(55) The Basket of Bread was created when Dali was 22, during his last months at art school in Madrid. He created this work as a test for himself – to prove his technical skill as a painter by demonstrating his ability to create the intense realism achieved by his artistic role models, particularly Jan Vermeer.
(65) Galatea of the Spheres is a painting by Salvador Dalí made in 1952. It depicts Gala Dalí, Salvador Dalí's wife and muse, as pieced together through a series of spheres. The name Galatea refers to a sea nymph of Classical mythology renowned for her virtue, and may also refer to the statue beloved by its creator, Pygmalion.
(65) Enigma Without End. With elements like rocks, insects, shells and hollows; Dalí expresses complex feelings toward his mother, who was very devoted to him.  

The painting on the Cover is Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon.
What is clear, though, is that the normally proud and self-assured artist (outwardly, anyway) has taken a bit of an off-ramp here – portraying himself in a melting mask of sorts, recalling his iconic melting watches. Numerous crutches – a favorite element in Dali’s arsenal of surrealist props – help support his flaccid face.
The grilled bacon strip might represent Dali’s love of gastronomy, and its shriveled form echoes the “cooked,” melted morphology of his visage – but also adds a secondary ingredient of humor to this unusual and amusing feast for our eyes!
Perhaps the only feature that retains a sense of typical Dalinian pride is that divine handlebar mustache!
Dali was quoted about this work: “Instead of painting the soul, the inside, I wanted to paint solely the outside, the envelope, the glove of myself.”

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