Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904, to a wealthy notary family. From his early days, the young Salvador exhibited eccentric behaviors, displaying a mix of intolerance, capriciousness, and phobias. Estranged from society due to these quirks, his respite came during a vacation to Cadaqués. It was here that the beauty of modern art beckoned him.
In 1921, he joined the prestigious Academy of San Fernando. But even here, his defiant nature shone through. One of his initial submissions, deliberately delayed to irk authorities, was considered too small, leading to an examiner’s rebuke. Not long after, in 1922, he shifted to a residence for prodigious talents. This move marked a transformative phase in Dalí’s life. It was during this time he delved deep into the realms of surrealism, Freudianism, cubism, and Dadaism, shaping his artistic identity.
1926 saw Dalí’s expulsion from the academy, attributed to his overt arrogance. Unfazed, he set his sights on Paris, where a chance meeting with Picasso profoundly influenced him. He soon joined hands with a friend to create the surreal film “Andalusian Forest.” Around this time, he crossed paths with Elena Dyakonova, who later became his spouse. By 1929, Dalí was the talk of France. But personal tumult wasn’t far behind. A fallout with his father, stemming from his audacious deeds, left a scar on Dalí’s soul, which he bore until his final breath.
As General Franco rose to power, Dalí’s once ardent affiliation with surrealism waned. His dissent with the leftist ideologies of his contemporaries was palpable. Yet, his artistic journey never ceased. Collaborations with legends like Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney ensued. The world of photography and advertising beckoned, and Dalí answered. His masterpieces such as The Persistence of Memory and Metamorphoses of Narcissus, steeped in Freudianism and surrealism, set standards in the art realm. Today, we invite you to relish Salvador Dalí’s genius through our online collection at the Rios Art Gallery.