Salvador Dalí

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Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dalí.
Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.
The daily life of a genius, his sleep, his digestion, he ecstasies, his nails, his colds, his blood, his life and death are essentially different from the rest of mankind.

Salvador Felip Jacint Dalí (11 May 190423 January 1989) was a Spanish surrealist artist.

Quotes[edit]

It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.
  • What is an elegant woman? An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and who has no hair under her arms.
    • The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (1942)
  • It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.
    • Diary of a Genius (1964), p. 12
  • Le Surréalisme, c'est moi.
    • I am Surrealism.
    • Quoted in George Cevasco Salvador Dali: master of surrealism and modern art (1971), p. 13
  • Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
    • People (27 September 1976)
  • The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.
    • Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp (1987) by Pierre Cabanne
  • In the subconscious you fuck ugly people, never beautiful, because the libido always desires something repulsive.
    • Exposure (October 1990); from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974.
  • I like it, murder, because this is courage. It is anti-bourgeois. Murder is closer to heaven, because after becoming remords de conscience, one prays, one opens the sky, and the angels say, “Good morning!”
    • Exposure (October 1990); from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974.
  • Ah, UNESCO is the most garbage. Any kind of organization for the good will of the people is impossible. It is necessary for the contrary. Young people need plenty of difficulties to achieve something, you know? If you receive a little money for this, a little money for that, everything becomes mediocre, and collapses ig-no-min-i-ously!
    • Exposure (October 1990); from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974.
  • You know the worst thing is freedom. Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity. You know, Dalí spent two months in jail in Spain, and these two months were the most enjoyable and happy in my life. Before my jail period, I was always nervous, anxious. I didn’t know if I should make a drawing, or perhaps make a poem, or go to the movies or the theatre, or catch a girl, or play with the boys. The people put me in jail, and my life became divine. Tremendous!
    • Exposure (October 1990); from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974.
  • Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dalí.
    • As quoted in Smithsonian magazine. Variants:
      Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy — the joy of being Salvador Dalí — and I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things is this Salvador Dalí going to accomplish today?
      Every morning when I awake, the greatest of joys is mine: that of being Salvador Dalí.
  • Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.
    • Dali by Dali (1970), as quoted in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations (2012), p. 737

Diary of a Genius (1964)[edit]

  • Ever since the French revolution there has developed a vicious, cretinizing tendency to consider a genius (apart from his work) as a human being more or less the same in every sense as other ordinary mortals. This is wrong. And if this is wrong for me, the genius of the greatest spiritual order or our day, a true modern genius, it is even more wrong when applied to those who incarnated the almost divine genius of the Renaissance, such as Raphael.
    • p. 1
  • The daily life of a genius, his sleep, his digestion, he ecstasies, his nails, his colds, his blood, his life and death are essentially different from the rest of mankind.
    • p. 1
  • Democratic governments are not suited to the publication of the thunderous revelations I am in the habit of making. The unpublished parts will appear later ... when Europe will have restored its traditional monarchies.
    • p. 2
  • I was never capable of being an average pupil. I would either seem refractory to any teaching and give the impression of being completely dumb or I would fling myself on my work with a frenzy, a patience, and a willingness to learn that astonished everybody. But to awaken my zeal, it was necessary to offer me something I liked. Once my appetite had been whetted, I became ravenously hungry.
    • pp. 5-6
  • I categorically refused to consider the surrealists as just another literary and artistic group. I believed they were capable of liberating man from the tyranny of the “practical, rational world.” I was going to become the Nietzsche of the irrational. I, the obsessed rationalist, was the only one who knew what I wanted: I was not going to submit to irrationality for its own sake, to the narcissist and passive irrationality others practiced. I would do completely the opposite. I would fight for the “conquest of the irrational.” In the meantime my friends would let themselves be overwhelmed by the irrational, succumbing, like so many others, Nietzsche included, to that romantic weakness.
    • p. 9
  • Someone like myself, who claimed to be a real madman, living and organized with a Pythagorean precision ...
    • p. 17
  • Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.
    • p. 26
  • Don’t bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.
    • p. 42
  • I think that the sweetest freedom for a man on earth consists in being able to live, if he likes, without having the need to work.
    • p. 79
  • If you refuse to study anatomy, the arts of drawing and perspective, the mathematics of aesthetics, and the science of color, let me tell you that this is more a sign of laziness than of genius.
    • p. 81
  • Begin by drawing and painting like the old masters. After that do as you see fit—you will always be respected.
    • p. 82

Quotes about Dalí[edit]

The sole difference between myself and a madman is the fact that I am not mad!
  • The art of Salvador Dalí, an extreme metaphor at a time when only the extreme will do, constitutes a body of prophecy about ourselves unequaled in accuracy since Freud's "Civilization And Its Discontents". Voyeurism, self-disgust, the infantile basis of our fears and longings, and our need to pursue our own psychopathologies as a game — these diseases of the psyche Dali has diagnosed with dismaying accuracy. His paintings not only anticipate the psychic crisis which produced our glaucous paradise, but document the uncertain pleasures of living within it. The great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century — sex and paranoia — preside over his life, as over ours.
    • J. G. Ballard, "Introduction" to Diary of a Genius (1974) by Salvador Dalí
  • I have been inclined to regard the Surrealists as complete fools, but that young Spaniard with his candid, fanatical eyes and his undeniable technical mastery, has changed my estimate.
    • Sigmund Freud, letter to novelist Stefan Zweig, after meeting in London in 1939. Reported in foreword to The Secret Life of Salvador Dali

External links[edit]

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