Salvador Dali‘s paintings immediately recall the personality of the artist and his eccentric behavior. History has taught us, however, that with the passage of time, the details of an artist’s life and his opinions are forgotten, and his fame comes to depend entirely on his paintings. Thus, to have a clear idea of Dali as an artist, it is important to look at the paintings. There is no doubt that they have made an extraordinary impression. They have been violently attacked, but they have also been passionately admired, and they have fascinated the general public. They have been acquired by museums all over the world, and are often more popular than works of artists long recognized as the greatest.
What is about Salvador Dali’s paintings that gives them this impact and that makes them immediately recognizable as his? Partly, of course, the subject matter, which is oSalvador Dali is essentially a man of the twentieth century. This is evident both in his state of mind as an artist and in his efforts to relate his work to the problems of our time. One of the characteristics of the last few decades has been revolt in every phase of human thought and action. This came naturally to Dali, a native of Catalonia, and, indeed, his first and most lasting success was as a leader of one of the most revolutionary literary and artistic movements of all time, Surrealism. In the early 1920’s, the Surrealists proclaimed that all traditional rules and beliefs should be destroyed and new inspiration sought in the hitherto unexplored depths of man’s mind and spirit. They took much of their material from the realm of the subconscious, of dreams, and of the instincts, normally repressed, which Freud was revealing to the world. This appealed powerfully to Dali’s imagination, and his paintings were by far the richest and most exciting inspired by the movement. He has since broken with Surrealism, but it spirit has never disappeared from his work.
There are many other ways in which Dali shows he is intensely involved in his own times. He has been interested in many trends of modern thought, scientific, philosophical, and religious. His has been interested in many trends of modern thought, scientific, philosophical, and religious. His cult of originality at almost any price, though also a Catalan trait, is typical of today, and so is his desire for publicity. His analysis and “Paraphrasing” of famous paintings is also a phase of artistic activity shared by other modern artists.
“The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret.”(Salvador Dali)
In the future, when Dali’s paintings have fallen into the proper perspective with the work of artists of all periods, much that seems significant to us today may lose its interest. However, he will always stand out as one of the very few twentieth-century painters who combines a profound respect for the traditions of the past with intensely modern feelings. People will always look at his work because of his extremely personal and always surprising imagination, for that is where his genius lies. ften weird and fantastic. But much more important is Dali’s own highly personal quality. This is difficult to define. Its effect is both pleasing and shocking, a mixture of a clear, insistently present, almost tactile feeling of reality with a mood that is utterly unreal, impossible, often nightmarish, evoking something that we are conscious of but do not quite understand – perhaps would prefer not to understand. The painter almost succeeds in giving tangible form to dreams.(source : http://www.edali.org)