Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First of 365

First post! It's 5 days into the New Year and this afternoon, my brother and I had a flash of brilliance. Why not chronicle our favorite subjects, mine (Art) and his (Music), for 365 days? Through this project, I think we're both hoping share our passions and inspire the public.

So. As I'm 5 days in, I have 5 artists to share with you! I've picked the 5 artists most relevant to me from this holiday season. I'm sure things will get much more random as the year goes along. There will be something for everyone when I'm done here...I promise! But for now...

First. Salvador Dalí: The Surrealist
Santiago El Grande. Salvador Dalí. 1957.

Over Christmas, I got the distinct privilege of visiting the Dalí: The Late Work exhibit at the High Museum of Art. I expected to be wow'ed by the scale a dream-like ingenuity of the pieces. What I did NOT expect were the portraits (Dalí was a portrait artist?) and the presence of melted clock masterpiece, The Persistence of Memory. And it's surprisingly tiny. Unexpected indeed!

Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain (a town I have been fortunate enough to visit!) in May 1904. This is also where he died January 23, 1989. This larger-than-life personality is best known as a Surrealist painter, but also dabbled in photography, film, sculpture. His greatest inspiration was the love of his life, his wife Gala.

Surrealism developed out of the Dada movement in World War I in 1920's. It's based on "pure psychic automatism" by definition of André Breton...automatic writing and drawing is often compared to improvisational free jazz, so psychic automatism could be clarified as what immediately comes to mind/improvisational free thought. Other Surrealists include Joan Miró, Luis Buñuel (a boyhood friend of Dalí), and Max Ernst. Mostly out of my realm of understanding...but what dream world isn't?

3 Factoids you may not know?

- Dalí was friends with the likes of Féderico García Lorca, Andy Warhol, and rocker Alice Cooper. Dalí introduced Warhol to his muse, Ultra Violet.

- Dalí's trademark moustache was a tribute to Baroque Spanish painter, Diego Velázquez (We'll talk about him later!).

- When signing autographs, Dalí would always keep his fans' pens.

"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision. " - Salvador Dalí

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