The Surreal life of Salvador Dali

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol or simply Salvador Dali, a prominent Spanish surrealist born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain evoked his dreams and hallucinations in unforgettable images. His provocations and flamboyant personality made him an art star. His spent his entire life shocking the world all while promoting himself. 

Sacred   Heart by Salvador Dali

Sacred Heart by Salvador Dali

Early in his career he exhibited a drawing, titled Sacred Heart, that featured the words “Sometimes I Spit with Pleasure on the Portrait of My Mother.”

Everything he did turned into money, including the famous twitching of his waxed mustache. 

It was Salvador Dali's mother who encouraged his creativity. Quitting family business after marriage, Felipa Domènech Ferres amused her young son with  molding wax figurines out of colored candles. 

In his 1942 autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí  artist shared that at the age of six he wanted to be a cook, and at the age of seven, he wanted to be a Napoleon.  He was afraid of grasshoppers and children often found it amusing throwing grasshoppers at Salvador to observe his terror.

He lost his mother when he was only 16. "This was the greatest blow I had experienced in my life,” he wrote in his autobiography. “I worshiped her. . . . I swore to myself that I would snatch my mother from death and destiny with the swords of light that some day would savagely gleam around my glorious name!”

Yet, he created Sacred Heart painting where he outlined the sketch of Jesus Christ and wrote “Sometimes I Spit with Pleasure on the Portrait of My Mother".  Although he meant nothing towards his mother in this work, it upset his father and he threw him out of the house. 

Dali was acquainted with Freud and his sexual ideas based on dreams and delusions and he attempted to capture these dreams in paint.


According to his own accounts artist Salvador Dali was not a fan of sexual congress. He once said “I tried sex once with a woman and it was (his wife) Gala. It was overrated. I tried sex once with a man and that man was the famous juggler Frederico Garcia Lorca. It was very painful.”

Dali met his future wife when he was 25. She was the wife of French poet Paul Éluard at the time. Russian-born Helena Diakanoff Devulina, better known as Gala was ten years older than Dali. She left her husband for Salvador Dali and their affair continued until 1934, when the pair married. He was attached to her. “Without Gala,” he once claimed, “Divine Dalí would be insane.”

They had an open relationship in which Gala was free to have affairs, including with her former husband, Eluard, while Dali is said to have enjoyed watching her have sex with other men, or showing other men images of her naked.

But she was his muse and during their first 10 years together Dali matured rapidly as an artist. Some of his best works featured images of Gala.

Dali's perverted behavior resulted in his father banishing him from all of family homes. He called Dali “a perverted son on whom you cannot depend for anything”.

In 1968 Dali bought Gala a castle in Girona, where she lived alone, the artist could only visit by asking for permission. Gala died in 1982 and  Dali  moved into her castle. He died in 1989.

Compared to contemporary painters, I am the most big genius of modern time.
— Salvador Dali