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File:Persistence of memory 1931 salvador dali 9665.jpg

 "The only difference between myself and a madman is that I am not mad."

AKA The guy who made the melting clocks painting. Born on May 11, 1904 in Figueres, Spain, Dali was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, especially in the genre of surrealism, which involves painting dreamlike images which are left to the viewer to interpret as they wish. He didn't just paint surrealism, though. He lived it. He became almost as well known for his bizarre behavior as his paintings, and may be largely responsible for the belief that artistic genius comes with insanity (see the page quote for his thoughts on the matter.)


This painter provides examples of:

  • Badass Mustache: Without a doubt, his most distinctive physical feature. He claimed it was a pair of antennas he used to pick up ideas.
    • To the point that when he appeared on What's My Line, the winner made sure it was him by asking if he had a distinctive mustache.
    • There was a whole book of photos of him with extra-crazy mustaches.
  • Berserk Button: Dali was a notorious perfectionist, such that he once smashed apart one of his art projects displayed in a window just because some tiny adjustments had been made to it.
  • Book Dumb: Subverted. Dali would rather daydream than pay attention, to the point where he could neither read nor write after his first year. After his father Salvador Dali Cusi started encouraging his son's love of art, Salvador began getting better grades.
  • Cloudcuckoolander And how.
  • Cool Pet: He had a pet ocelot named "Babou."
    • An a pet sloth.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Sometimes he gave his paintings ridiculously specific titles, like "Face of Mae West Which May Be Used as an Apartment" or "Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire"
  • Eye Scream: A famous example in the film "Un Chien Andalou", in which he collaborated with similarly surrealist director Luis Bunuel. The effect of a human eye being sliced with a razor blade was replicated with a cow's.
  • G-Rated Drug: One of Dali's claims was that he ate a large quantity of Camembert cheese to give himself vivid dreams to serve as inspiration for his paintings. It's unknown whether or not he actually did so, and it's also unknown whether or not this would work, wouldn't work, or would work due to the Placebo Effect.
  • He Also Did: Of all things, designed the label for Chupa Chups lollipops.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Fell victim to this a little, mainly because he was fascinated by Hitler (but didn't actually support him).
  • Long Title: He sometimes gave his paintings titles like this, such as "Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening" or "Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time"
  • Mad Artist: Does this really need any explanation?
  • Mind Screw: As if the inherent weirdness of his paintings wasn't enough, many of them also employ perspective tricks and optical illusions, so you get different images depending on how far you are from them and what angle you view them at.
    • This trope could also apply to his entire life. To this day, no one is quite sure how much of Dali's strange behavior was an act, put on as part of his art.
      • Then there are those who say nothing he did was an act. And those who say everything was.
      • Part of the issue may have been that he gave himself sleeping problems to "help" his creative process. He usually slept in an armchair holding a spoon over a metal plate; that way, as soon as he had slept enough to relax his muscles, he would wake himself up. He claimed that this prevented him from dreaming while asleep, which forced his mind to dream while he was awake...
  • Noble Bigot: For all his sensible artistic finesse, Dali was an outspoken sexist, up to the point where he told a woman at the dinner table that he didn't want to even see her art because of her gender.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The page quote.
  • Sequel: His famous "Persistence of Memory" picture had a follow-up after WW 2 which shows everything shattering into pixel-like fragments, which was meant to represent the impact of the theory of relativity and the atom bomb upon perception.
    • "The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory" was also Dali's interpretation of how Quantum Mechanics split apart the flowing picure of time, space, and matter of Einstein's Theory Of General Relativity into discrete, quantified units.
  • Surreal Horror: A lot of his works fall into this territory.
  • Tarot Motifs: He provided illustrations for a 72 card Tarot deck. Naturally "The Magician" was a self-portrait.
  • What Could Have Been: Dali actually did a collaboration project with Walt Disney, of all people, on a short subject that was meant for Fantasia, but was ultimately scrapped. Destino was eventually completed in 2003 and was finally released on DVD as an extra on the 2010 holiday release of Fantasia/2000.
    • Also, once asked a young Lorraine Bracco if he could paint her in the nude, but she refused, just thinking he was some creepy old man.
    • Also, came pretty close to making a film with the Marx Brothers; some stills form the storyboard include Harpo playing a harp on fire on the top of a cliff while Chico negotiates a maze of bicyclists a la Frogger.
    • Also, he was cast as the evil Emperor by Alejandro Jodorowski in a proposed film adaptation of Dune.
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