Today marks the 108th birthday of the renowned Spanish Surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. As part of the groundbreaking Surrealist movement of the 1930s, he was known for his paintings that evoked a dream-like world with contorted shapes and brilliant colors, not to mention his bizarre public appearances, and an iconic mustache.
But here are a few facts you might not know about Salvador Dali:
Dali’s work was once displayed in Riker’s Island
"For the dinning room [sic] of the Prisoners Rikers Ysland - SD", was the quote Dali scribbled at the bottom of a painting he created in 1965 as an apology to Anna Moscowitz Kross. The then Corrections Commissioner of Rikers Island Jail in New York City had asked Dali to visit the prison to speak to the inmates about art. He was unable to attend due to illness, so quickly painted a watercolor and charcoal rendering of a Crucifixion. After hanging in the dining room for many years, the piece was moved to a hallway and, in March 2003, was stolen. The painting has yet to be recovered.
Source: A Dali Vanishes From Rikers Island
The film collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney was left unfinished for 57 years.
In 1946, Disney invited Dali to collaborate with him on a short film called Destino, which was to be a part of one of Disney’s anthology features. His invitation to Dali followed the trend Disney had started of asking big artists to be a part of his films like he had done with Oskar Fischinger on Pinocchio and Fantasia. Production on Destino was halted after it was proven that the package pictures were financially unsuccessful. Fifty seven years later, in 2003, Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney put Destino back into production. It premiered at the Telluride Film Festival.
Source: The Destiny of Dali's Destino
Dali was heavily influenced by science.
Dali subscribed to the Renaissance view that encouraged an acquaintance with all subjects, therefore, he felt it right to become knowledgeable about math and science along with art. It is well known that his early work was influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud. As he grew as an artist, certain works became a reflection of his scientific interest at the time. In the 1930s, he was influenced by optical illusions and dual images. In the 1940s, he found inspiration in quantum theory and nuclear science. By the 1960s, he had begun studying holography and three dimensional art, which spawned his 1972 hologram exhibition. When Dali was asked, “Why such a great interest in science?”, he replied: “Because artists scarcely interest me at all. I believe that artists should have some notions of science in order to tread a different terrain, which is that of unity”.
Source: Salvador Dali and Science
Salvador Dali has been portrayed in films by Robert Pattinson, Adrien Brody, and Alan Cumming.
Robert Pattinson portrayed Dali in Little Ashes in 2008. Adrien Brody portrayed Dali in Midnight in Paris in 2011. Alan Cumming portrayed Dali in The Surrealist in 2012.
A film Dali worked on was pulled from distribution for more than 50 years.
After collaborating to create what is considered the first surrealist film, Un Chien Andalou, Dali and Luis Bunuel joined forces one last time for L’Age D’Or. A Surrealist expose of the social institutions that stifle love, L’Age D’Or,incensed fascist and anti-Semitic groups. One such group staged a stink-bomb and ink-throwing riot in the Paris theater where it was shown in December 1930. The film was then banned and pulled from distribution. L’Age D’Or didn’t have a United States premiere until November 1979.
Source: Harvard Film Archive
The Chupa Chups logo was designed by Dali.
Dali was asked to design a logo by the Spanish confectioner, Chupa Chups. He agreed and designed the logo by incorporating the Chupa Chups name into a brightly colored daisy shape. Dali, also, suggested that the logo be placed on top of the lolly instead of the side so that it could always be seen intact. The logo has remained largely the same since Dali designed it in 1969.
Salvador Dali passed away in his own museum.
In 1974, the Dali Theatre and Museum was inaugurated in Figueres, Catalonia. The museum houses the broadest range of Dali’s work throughout his entire career (1904-1989). The museum itself was designed by Dali to give the visitor a rich view into his captivating and unique world. After his retirement, Dali moved into the tower of the Figueres Teatre-Museu Dali -, and on January 23, 1989, he passed away there from heart failure.
Source: The World's Largest Surrealist Object