Salvador Dalí

From Wikiquote
(Redirected from Dali, Salvador)
Jump to: navigation, search
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.

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

Quotes[edit]

1920 - 1945[edit]

  • Telephone, pedal washbasin, white refrigerators gleaming with Ripolin, bidet, small phonograph… …objects of authentic and pure poetry (MPC p. 11).. ..The Parthenon was not built as a ruin. It was built on a new surface without patina, like out automobiles. / we will not always bear on our shoulders the weight of our father’s corpse. (1920’s; MPC p 13)
    • as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, - translation Trista Selous -, Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, p. 28
  • The more I looked at his face [ St. Sebastinan’s face] the more curious it seemed. That said, I seemed to have always known it and the aseptic morning light revealed its smallest details which such clarity, such purity, that I was impossible moved.. ..In the upper part of the heliometer was St. Sebastian’s magnifying glass.. ..I put my eye to the magnifying glass, product of a slow distillation, at once numerical and intuitive. Each drop of water a, a number. Each drop of blood a geometry.
    • In his poem 'Sant Sebastia' Salvador Dali 1927 - dedicated to the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca; as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, - translation Trista Selous -, Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, p. 46
  • One morning with Ripolin (French painter) I painted a new-born that I then left to dry on the tennis-court. After two days I found it bristling with ants that made it move to the anaesthetized, silent rhythm of sea-urchins. However I at once realised that this newborn child was none other than the pink breast of my girlfriend, being frenetically eaten by the shining, metallic thickness of the phonograph. But it wasn't her breast either: it was little pieces of my cigarette paper nervously grouped around the magnetic topaz of my fiancees ring.
    • In 'Mon amie et la plague' [My girlfriend and the beach], Salvador Dali, 1927; as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, - translation Trista Selous -, Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, pp. 47-48
  • One might think that through ecstasy we would have access to a world as far from reality as that of the dream. – The repugnant can become desirable, affection cruelty, the ugly beautiful, faults qualities, qualities black miseries.
    • In 'Le phénomene de l’extase', in 'Minotaure' 1933; as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, - translation Trista Selous -, Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, p. 133
  • The Italian metaphysical movement [initiated by De Chirico] started from the spiritual reality, a consequence of the physical miracle and it aspects grouped on an immaterial plane; all this formed a new spectral reality, in order to attain maximal, almost erotic creativity in touch. The Cubists, on the other hand, starting from this sensual-idealistic touch, found a pure, new form of spirituality. Lorca is one of those who have reached this new form of miracle by following the paths of the greatest incredulity. He does not even belief in his own hands, unless it be to turn one-legged physiological and abstract tables.
    • his introduction of the exhibition of drawings, made by Lorca, 1930's (MPC 3); as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, - translation Trista Selous -, Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, p. 152
  • We know today that form is always the product of an inquisitorial process of matter – the specific reaction of matter when subjected to the terrible coercion of space choking it on all sides, pressing and squeezing it out, producing the swellings that burst form it life to the exact limits of the rigorous contours of its own originality of reaction.
    • In: the intro of The Secret Life of Salvador Dali - first publication in 1942 - Vision Press, London 1976, p. 2
  • Having reached the surface [n the Paris' Metro] I remained crazed for a long time, gathering my spirits. I had the impression that I had been vomited by a monstrous anus after being tumultuously brewed by an intestine. I did not know where I was; as though spat out on to unknown land, a pointless little excrement.. ..And, a miracle!.. ..This shock was a beneficial revelation. One must at every opportunity use the subterranean paths of action and thought, erase the traces, appear suddenly and irrelevantly, endless conquer oneself, never hesitate to sodomize one’s soul so that it will be reborn purer and stronger than ever.
    • In The Secret Life of Salvador Dali - first publication in 1942 - Vision Press, London 1976, p. 210
  • What is an elegant woman? An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and who has no hair under her arms.
    • In The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí - first publication in 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.
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.


1945 - 1989[edit]

  • Myself at the age of six, when I believed I was a little girl, raising with a very great care the skin of the sea in order to observe a dog sleeping in the shadow of the water.
    • the title of his oil painting, Dali painted in 1950
  • In 1951 the two most subversive things that could happen to an ex-surrealist were: firstly, to become a mystic and secondly, to know how to draw. These two models of rigour happened to me at the same time.
    • In his lecture 'Picasso et moi'’ (MPC 65)
  • When I have at last become like a statue through the exacerbation of my ego which has led me to this ultimate sclerosis.. ..Then and only then will I at last be able to set this statue up and come out of myself into the crowd to go and see the world. No one will notice anything because they will all be looking at the statue and I will be able to go about, free at last.. ..It’s then that I shall realise my eternal dream: to become a newspaper reporter!
    • In 'The Dali News', Dimanche 27 November 1960 Salvador Dali; as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, - translation Trista Selous -, Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, pp. 163-164
  • Popularity, even at its most mediocre, delights me.. ..I behave nicely with the public, out of the same concern for prudence that makes me generous in cases of epidemics or other collective calamities.. ..Beware, I tell myself, because you may be judged at the end of the time, if there is an end of time and a judge.. .. Beware of the day when no one ask you for anything anymore, be nice with the cratinization of advertising.. ..Any reflection of my existence in others clams my worries about the feeble degree of reality of things, the world and myself. It’s from all these eyes, in which I see myself seen, that I take my substance.. ..but where is substance? If it is not in nature it can’t be in God.. ..In a reality that endlessly disperses before the eye, fades away between our fingers, the only really material matter, the only really substantial substance, would be God.
    • source (MPC 3); as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, - translation Trista Selous -, Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, p. 167
  • Let us watch this de Kooning [leading Abstract-Expressionist painter in New York] with his prematurely white hair making his great sleepwalker’s movements, as though he was waiting in a dream to open bays of Biscay, to explode islands like pieces of orange or Parma violets, to tear continents from a cerulean blue split by oceans of Naples yellow.. ..if by good or by ill fortune, in the middle of this Dionysian demiurg the image of 'The Eternal Feminine should appear.. the least that might have happened to her would be that she should emerge (from all this chaos) wearing nothing but a little make-up.
    • Dali's comment on the Woman-paintings by the American abstract-expressionist painter Willem de Kooning: (MPC 75); as quoted in Dali and Me, Catherine Millet, (translated by Trista Selous), Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 8001 Zurich Switzerland, p. 135
  • Let us illuminate my political positions. I have always been against any affiliation.. ..I am the only Surrealist who always refused to be part of any organization whatsoever. I was never a Stalinist, nor fooled by any association. Illustrious members of the Falange [Spanish ultra-right wing] I never got involved.. ..If I accepted the Grand Cross of Isabella the Catholic from Franco’s [Spanish fascist dictator] hands, it is because in Soviet Russia I was not awarded the Lenin Prize.
    • In Entretiens avec Salvador Dali, Alain Bosquet, 1966; as quoted in The shameful life of Salvador Dali, Ian Gibson, New York / London, Norton & Co, 1997
  • Men who fuck easily, and can give themselves without difficulty, have only a very diminished creative potency.. ..Look at Leonardo da Vinci, Hitler, Napoleon, they all left their mark on their times, and they were more or less impotent.
    • In Entretiens avec Salvador Dali, Alain Bosquet, 1966; as quoted in The shameful life of Salvador Dali, Ian Gibson, New York / London, Norton & Co, 1997
  • 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
  • Le Surréalisme, c'est moi.
    • I am Surrealism.
      • As quoted in Salvador Dali : Master of Surrealism and Modern Art (1971) by George Cevasco, p. 13
  • The pleasure of the flesh can be fulfilled only if a particular dimension is created, a kind of stereoscopic phenomenon, an imaginary hologram as real as reality.. ..I need all these suddenly present images of my past that forms the fabric of my entire life.
    • In Comment on deviant Dali, les aveux inavouables de Salvador Dali, André Parinaud (1973)
  • But I very early realized, instinctively, my life formula: to get others to accept as natural the excesses of one’s personality an thus to relieve oneself of his own anxieties by creating a sort of collective participation.
    • In Comment on deviant Dali, les aveux inavouables de Salvador Dali, André Parinaud (1973); as quoted in The Unspeakable confessions of Salvador Dali, Parinaud, ed. W. H. Allen, London 1976, p. 17
  • ..the paint marks [in Impressionist paintings] placed apparently without order and which suddenly became magnificently ordered if one knew how to make the right distance.. .. to communicate a deep, sun-drenched image of a stream, landscape or face.. ..My eyes were popping out of my head.
    • In Comment on deviant Dali, les aveux inavouables de Salvador Dali, André Parinaud (1973); as quoted in The Unspeakable confessions of Salvador Dali, Parinaud, ed. W. H. Allen, London 1976, p. 42
  • Shit scared them [the Surrealists]. Shit and arseholes. Yet, what was more human and more needful of transcending! From that moment, I know I would keep on obsessing them with what they most dreaded. And when I invented Surrealist objects, I had the deep inner fulfillment of knowing, while the [Surrealist] group went into ecstasies over their operation, that these objects very exactly reproduced the contradictions of a rectal sphincter at work, so that what they were thus admiring was their own fear.
    • In Comment on deviant Dali, les aveux inavouables de Salvador Dali, André Parinaud (1973); as quoted in The Unspeakable confessions of Salvador Dali, Parinaud, ed. W. H. Allen, London 1976, p. 113
  • I am capable of projecting myself into my little inner cinema.. ..I free myself through a secret exit from the attempts to encircle my soul.
    • In Comment on deviant Dali, les aveux inavouables de Salvador Dali, André Parinaud (1973)
  • My supreme game is to imagine myself dead, devoured by worms. I close my eyes and, with incredible details of absolute, scatological precision, I see myself being slowly eaten and digested by an infernal swarm of large greenish maggots gorging themselves on my flesh.
    • In Comment on deviant Dali, les aveux inavouables de Salvador Dali, André Parinaud (1973) p. 12
  • Death is the thing I am most afraid of, and the resurrection of the flesh, a great Spanish theme, is the one that it is hardest for me to accept, form the point of view of ... life.
    • In Comment on deviant Dali, les aveux inavouables de Salvador Dali, André Parinaud (1973) p. 22
  • In the subconscious you fuck ugly people, never beautiful, because the libido always desires something repulsive.
    • from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974; as quoted in Exposure, October 1990
  • 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'!
    • from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974; as quoted in Exposure, October 1990
  • 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!
    • from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974; as quoted in Exposure, October 1990
  • 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!
    • from an interview originally conducted by Victor Bockris in 1974; as quoted in Exposure, October 1990
  • Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
    • In People, 27 September 1976
  • Every time I lose a little sperm I'm convinced I've wasted it. I always feel guilty afterwards.. ..To start with, I'm not as impotent as all that.
    • In an interview, published in 'Playboy', 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
  • I can say without fear of falling into the slightest exaggeration that each outline of a rock, / and / of the beaches of Cadaques [North-Spain, where Dali spent his childhood], each of the geological anomalies of its landscape and its unique light I know by heart, for in the paths of my wandering solitudes, it was these silhouettes of stones and its states of light attached to the structure / and the aesthetic substance / of the landscape that were the sole protagonists on the mineral impossibility of which I project day after day all the accumulated and chronically unsatisfied tension of mt erotic-emotional life.
    • In the catalog of the exhibition 'Dali una vida de libro', Bibliotheca de Catalunya, Barcelona 2004
    • Dali's memory is written in a mixture of French and Catalan accent
  • 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.


Diary of a Genius (1964)[edit]

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.
  • 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
  • This book will prove that that the daily life of a genius, his sleep, his digestion, his ecstasies, his nails, his colds, his blood, his life and death are essentially different from those of the rest of mankind.
    • p. 11 - in: the Prologue of The Diary of a Genius
  • 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.
    • p. 12
  • Someone like myself, who claimed to be a real madman, living and organized with a Pythagorean precision...
    • p. 17
  • Surrealism in its early period offered specific methods to bring images closer to concrete irrationality. These methods, based on the exclusive passive and receptive role of the 'surrealist subject', are bankrupt and are giving way to new surrealist methods for the systematic exploration of the irrationa.. ..The new delirious images of concrete irrationality suggest their physical, real 'possibility'; they go beyond the domain of psycho-analysable fantasies and ‘virtual’ representations.. ..Against the dream memory and impossible, virtual images of purely receptive states that one can only recount, the physical facts of 'objective' irrationality with which one can already hurt oneself.
    • p. 23 - on new Surrealism techniques and methods.
  • 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
  • The anagram 'Avida Dollars' was a talisman for me [referring to 'Divine Dali', so called by André Breton]. It rendered the rain of dollars fluid, sweet and monotonous. Someday I shall tell the whole truth about the way in which this blessed disorder of Danae was garnered. It will be a chapter of a new book, probably my masterpiece: On the Life of Salvador Dali, considered as a Work of Art [never written].
    • p. 35
  • Don’t bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.
    • p. 42
  • July 1952/the 27th/This morning an exceptional defecation: two small turds in the shape of a rhinoceros horns. Such a scanty stool worries me. I would have thought the champagne, so alien to my routine, would have had a laxative effect. (DG p. 59)
  • - the 29th/Because of a very long fart, really a very long, and let us be frank, melodious fart, that I produced when I woke up, I was reminded of Michel de Montaigne. (DG p. 60)
  • - September 1952/the2nd/Again this morning, while I was on the toilet, I had a truly remarkable piece of insight. My bowel movement, by the way, was perfectly exceptional, smooth and odourless.
    • pp. 59 – 64
  • And man’s highest mission on earth is to spiritualize everything, it is his excrement in particular that needs it most. As a result, I increasingly dislike all scatological jokes and all forms of frivolity on this subject. Indeed, I am dumbfounded at how little philosophical and metaphysical importance the human mind has attached to the vital subject of excrement.
    • p. 65 (Dali's remark, in 1952)
  • 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
  • Sleeping is a way of dying or at least of dying to reality, better still it is the death of reality, but reality dies in love as in dreams. The life of man is entirely occupied by the bloody osmosis of dreams and love.
    • p. 126 In: L’amour; as quoted in Dali and Me.
  • It is with Millet’s 'Angelus' that I associate all the pre-twilight and twilight memories of my childhood, regarding them as the most delirious, in other words (commonly speaking) poetic.. ..Most frequently, at the end of summer days, I would leave the streets of the town and go to the fields to listen to the sounds of insects and plunge into infinite reveries.
    • p. 126 - (MTA), youth memories as a young boy, living in Spain
  • 'Up there!'. Wonderful words! All my life has been dominated by these antagonisms: high and low. In my childhood I tried desperately to be high up.
  • - There was nothing left between me and the void. I must have spent several minutes lying on my stomach with my eyes closed to resist its almost invincible attraction.
  • - Most of my readers will have felt the sensation of suddenly falling into the void, just at the point when sleep is going to take them over completely. Waking up with a start, your heart convulsively trembling, you don’t always realise that this sensation of vertigo is a reminiscence of the expulsion of being born.. ..All those who throw themselves into the void have at bottom only one desire, to be reborn at any price.
    • pp. 131-132 - (VSD), Dali's quotes on the void.
  • Where is the real? All appearance are deceitful, the visible surface is deceptive. I look at my hand.. ..It is nerves, muscles, bones. Let us go deeper: it is molecules and acids. Further still: it is an impalpable waltz of electrons and neutrons. Further still: an immaterial nebula. Who can prove that my hand exists?
    • pp. 133-134 - (VSD)
  • It is difficult to hold the world’s interest for more than half an hour at a time.. ..I have been successful for twenty years, to the extent that papers publish the most incomprehensible new items of our time, sent by teletype: PARIS. Dali gave lecture at Sorbonne on Vermeer’s paintings ‘lacemaker’ and the rhinoceros… …NEW YORK. Dali landed in New York dressed in a golden space-suit.
    • p. 171
  • Surrounded by countless people who murmur my name and call me 'maître', I am about to inaugurate the exhibition of my one hundred illustrations of the Divine Comedy at the Galliera Museum.
    • p. 189 - Prologue

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]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Commons
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: