Salvador Dalí: A Master of the Modern Era. MIKOS ARTS – A Documentary for educational purposes only



this week darling Salvador Dali is the showman of 20th century art he was born with a very mischievous sense of humor he really honed all understanding of the absurd showing us that anything's possible and brought to life extraordinary dream world and his vivid surrealist paintings we all know what surrealism me it's something that conjures a sense of the bizarre and the unexpected or the irrational for the fact that we do is entirely thanks to dolly who brought surrealism into the mainstream but with his eccentric appearance and absurd antics many just dismiss him as a clown a celebrity hungry self publicist so what's the arty created really that important and has it changed the world we live in if you mentioned Danny's name today most people think of what I think of a big mustache and melting clocks I reckon that the persistence of memory is Dolly's most popular painting this is reproduced and parodied everywhere the actual painting is in New York at the Museum of Modern Art so that's where I'm heading first and here it is don't be fooled by its size this is 10 by 14 inches of Dolly dynamite exploding with ideas about time dreams and almost intimate fantasies and fears nearly 80 years after it was painted there's something that still haunts us about this picture it has the strange airless quality of a dream but one that's quite unsettling that you never forget it's as if dolly has taken our intangible anxieties about time passing and mortality and crystallize them in paint what is it that makes it so compelling perhaps it's because dolly paints impossible worlds in a very realistic way they feel real and in a sense they are because Dolly's landscapes are based on a place that he loved the dramatic coastline of the northeast corner of Spain dolly was born 30 miles in landfill here in 1904 his father a wealthy lawyer was a strict disciplinarian while his mother spoiled him and it was Felipa who first encouraged Danny's art his childhood memories dreams and desires seared themselves onto his mind so much that arguably they saturate almost every painting he later made dolly once said I have been made in these rocks here have I shaped my personality I cannot separate myself from this sky this see these rocks nestling in this rocky coastline is the town of cada cares the darling family used to spend their holidays here and it's where I'm meeting Dolly's biographer Ian Gibson he felt utterly totally and madly in love with the place and I can understand why because it's quite magical tell me about Dolly's family well he had a terrific family I mean this photograph which was taken more or less here and this is Dolly sitting there probably be five or six years old I love the fact that he's positioned himself right in the middle of this early stage so you always have to be at the center of things how important is it to understand this place in terms of his later arts it's absolutely vital I'm here all the early drawings the early paintings the church figures and I don't know how many of and I would say everything here the people the houses the architects of the boats without gather case there is no dolly it's a straightforward as that I think really identifies totally with this landscape Dolly's childhood paintings of Keira cares show his incredible natural talent he made this one when he was just 15 you know he could draw from from the day he was born he just had it in the blood he I suppose that's why he thought very early on he was a genius and he never because he could do it nobody said he can do it when he paints a duck it's a duck when it's a swan it's a swan his mother said as he scratched off the paint on it on a table in Figure Harris he just was born with this gift it's hard to believe from his gentle sun-drenched teenage paintings that Dali actually had a troubled anxious childhood it was only in later years that these anxieties would be reflected in his work this screen is stunning it's gummy it must have influenced Dali as a boy don't you think absolutely I mean you couldn't but be mesmerized by this altarpiece lots of dollies later paintings his surreal masterpieces they're really very disturbing quite unsettling there's a darker side to Dali which starts to emerge here as well right absolutely there is a darker side and those empty beaches hardly anybody there are distant figures always alone I think he was terribly lonely and anxious and very very timid and then there's the anxiety about his mother he is very close to his mother but his mother is not very well and eventually she dies when he's still very young and that's a terrible loss then he is left alone has to face his father his father's a very violent figure and daddy is frightened of his father he had Mars and he'd like to be like him but he's frightened when he was 18 Darlie moved to Madrid to study fine art here he began to overcome his extreme shyness by developing a new eccentric persona he began to wear dandiya Shout fits and grew what would eventually become his famous mustache the student arts displayed outstanding technical ability Kundali certainly knew it his shyness was transformed into unbridled self belief he was actually expelled for making outrageous statement that none of his teachers was good enough to examine his work going to Madrid was the first step in the young Salvador becoming Dali Dali was in his early 20s when he first heard about the group of experimental artists in Paris who were creating strange fantastical work so strange in fact that a new word had to be invented to describe their art surreal discovering surrealism would change Dolly's life it's war surrealism well it started out as a literary and artistic movement that was launched by this man who is the French poet Andre Breton in 1924 and it began really as a revolutionary response to the devastations of the First World War and also was inspired by the psychoanalytical theories of the great Sigmund Freud Freud believed that all of us have got this inner unconscious world in which our emotional and sexual feelings are repressed and that the only way to express ourselves is to release these emotions but without censoring what comes out and the Surrealists were fascinated by the bizarre quickly decided that they needed to explore this new forbidden landscape of the unconscious mind someone like Giorgio de Chirico created strange and haunting landscapes in which these odd oversized objects that really don't belong together dominate the canvas a little bit later the Belgian artist Reni Magritte started painting conventional bola hatted businessman pouring out the sky putting it all up together suddenly you realize why the young dolly instinctively knew that surrealism was the artistic movement for him he could express himself with impunity and put onto the canvas all of his inner desires fears obsessions and anxieties like here in one of his earliest surrealist paintings honey is sweeter than blood the barren shore of Kedah cares is scattered with strange objects that represent his childhood and adult anxieties inspired by Freud's ideas he's liberating his unconscious obsessions through his art death and sex were clearly on the 23 year old dollies mind to extract these strange visions from his deepest psyche Darlie developed a technique that he called the paranoiac critical method based on Sigmund Freud psychoanalytical theories I haven't a clue what Darla meant by this so I'm on my way to meet psychoanalyst Darian leader in the hope he can explain we're meeting at the house in North London where Freud lived after escaping Nazi occupied Austria Dali himself visited here in 1938 to pay his dues to the great man so this is Freud's study this is actually this it is indeed this is this is the couch this is the Freud's original couch indeed I've heard a lot about this quite complicated term the paranoiac critical method what does it mean I think the main thing of interest is the notion of paranoia this is what Dali was really interested in in the late 1920s early 1930s and then beyond he saw paranoia as an essential mechanism in the construction of reality so that when we see let's say some rocks or a cliff we could say that's just some rocks or a cliff but we could also see in it the human form perhaps even something looking at us a big pair of eyes exactly what would be classified as a paranoid delusion Dali in a sense explores and develops this idea in his painting so for example here seen from one angle we have a scene perhaps in a desert or on a beach a number of figures in front of a dwelling with some trees behind it then turn it and we see fairly clearly a human face now what's the correct way to interpret the image Darlie saying that both of those ways of reading the visual data give us different answers exactly the kind of emphasis on double images that dolly was so fascinated in Dolly's arguing we interpret the visual data that were receiving and we can interpret it in different ways and that there's a fundamental question about how we interpret the world around us so Dolly's idea is a bit like that game we play as kids where you gaze at clouds and let your imagination run wild perceiving animals objects and faces in the random shapes but instead of clouds Darlie would head out to the rocks near Caddick Aires armed with his sketchbook to let an alternative reality suggest itself to him local fisherman Moses who met Darlie when he was a boy is familiar with the artists old haunts these rocks appear in so many of his paintings and it is amazing just being a few meters away from them because suddenly it feels like we're floating in the middle of one of his lands exactly do you find when you're fishing you pass these rocks and you see all sorts of things oh yeah and it depends on the light on the weather and yeah you get really inspired by these rocks look at the camel I can walk there with the yeah right it looks like he's just squatted down in the middle of the desert exactly and they throw them down now this is Bruno Soares up there ah I love the rhinoceros this is Danny was obsessed with rhino yeah that's why I thought the guy was a little bit nuts and that you just see things in the rocks which maybe other people couldn't see yeah but you're genuinely yeah that looks like a rhino leaping up the rocks exactly and the camel that squatted down I'm trying to match this up to the landscape but there's one very famous Dali picture that I'm told is based on a specific outcrop the picture is the extraordinarily named the great master baiter and it was inspired by a rock that to Dali at least suggested a great face lying nose down okay whoa they're all fantastical shapes yeah I feel a bit like I'm approaching Skull Island or something is this it this is the wizard this is the one let's just get a better angle hang on ah I'm starting to recognize it there's his nose massive nose mm-hm face down exactly this is it just looks like a piece of bone which has been dropped it Wow but it looks much better from the other side this is genuinely this is the alien see that's exactly the same shape and it's interesting there's a bit of rock that goes up there which corresponds to this part of the painting which is above today the original hangs in Madrid's Reina Sofia gallery amazingly in that one rock Dolly's imagination didn't just see a face on its nose but a disturbing array of his own sexual desires insecurities and phobias here you can see that everything coalesces comes together it's utterly surreal but it's also uniquely Darley and it gives a very very complex fraught vision of Dolly's mind at the time out of his head in his very fluid dreamlike way comes this explosion of imagery in it he put all of his obsessions phobias anxieties clamped onto the mouth of the self-portrait is a grasshopper he was so scared of locusts as a child and something here it is right round up against his face and over on this side you have this well it's not really suggestive it's quite explicit kind of petrified rather beautiful woman's face looking at the nether regions of a bloke which is standing there by and beneath it almost like a parody of this part is the Lions face but with his tongue really lewdly lolling out and standing up on end but around it at these fangs which are saying hmm maybe all is not that well in the bedroom if you look right down here you see this figure in the distance and his long-shadowed leads you right to the horizon where and it's so tiny that's probably a memory of Dali with his mother his father walking on the beach at Caddo cares and I love that sense of complete distortions of scale with a real clarity a luminosity that as a picture works beautifully this just holds together in 1929 Dali took the imagery he dreamt up for his paintings and reworked them into a film the extraordinary as Chien Andalou which he made with his art school friend and filmmaker Lewis Boone well an astonishingly weird nightmare of irrational and gruesome images combined with absurd humor it was a landmark moment in both the history of surrealism and cinema on the eve day of the premiere Dalian Boone well supposedly carried stones in their pockets just in case the crowd reacted badly really out of hand but it was a triumph Andre Breton was amazed he wrote with Dolly it is perhaps for the first time that our mental windows have been open wide Donnie may have been a late comer to the movement but the surrealist quickly recognized that this provocative young talent was their new champion one of Surrealism greatest legacies has been in film and television and particularly in comedy today's comedians such as the League of Gentlemen or the mighty boosh like die combine the absurd with the macabre the profound with the ridiculous those so how much does the comedian Knoll fielding who stars in the mighty boosh Oh to dolly I think with surrealism something engineering collects not bottle laughs which is like we laugh because you can't stop yourself laughing see so absurd you don't sort because there's two types of laughs you watch really Brenda or something it's good or whatever but you sort of go I ask kid yeah and you go but then there's a sort of laugh hopefully get out there Cheryl big reassure which is that we just go that's actually ridiculous and you just sort of can't stop yourself line because it's just your brain the absurdity of it as major brain slightly implode I don't an economy that people could do themselves you know for me that's the criteria that's what I like about dolly he has ideas that I don't think when you're walking around a museum you think you could have had yourself I just like the ideas best on my sauce or burning giraffe I could you're off on fire it's in the back of one of the paintings Karen which one is but it's not even very big it's just in the corner I just thought that's amazing if the sort of neck more about is person if you had to pinpoint what you find particularly funny about darling what would it be he's like a sort of like a make-believe character isn't he turned everything upside down he's committed I think it's a Vegas realist and to getting a reaction and I think that makes you more thin tech and I think that only good comedy is authentic in the summer of 1929 basking in his success within the surrealist camp Darlie returned to Caracas where a major change was about to occur in his private life – before long he meet his future wife soulmate and lifelong news gala soon they buy a tiny fisherman shack just over the bay here in the remote village of port league at and this would be their home for the following 50 years over the decades it expanded into a labyrinth of whitewashed rooms dedicated to dreams and pleasure russian-born gala was 10 years older than darling and when they first met in the summer of 1929 she was already married to the French surrealist poet Paul lor but with Dahle it was love at first sight over the summer they grew ever closer so much so that she left her husband and child to be with Donnie garlotte became Dolly's muse and manager over the years she appeared in more than 50 of his paintings she has been described as part tiger part martyr part mother part mistress and part banker this is darlie's studio and what an amazing space you can see immediately look at these enormous windows just letting in all of this beautiful Port legate light he just had to look out the window and he'd see this view which almost was like a ready-made painting he just had to transcribe it on the canvas and there was a beautiful landscape you can imagine a couple of MIL ting watches floating there and you've got your Dali masterpiece he always sat down in this white armchair and had the canvas arranged on this structure in front of him and this is really really ingenious it actually allows Dali to move the canvas up and down through the floor so he could paint on this vast scale and you can see all of his paints and brushes the details so precise it was so important to him that he had to use these tools these very very fine sable hair brushes to kind of get the effect that he needed the combination of garlis support and this wonderful location was a catalyst for darling here in the 1930s he produced many of his most famous paintings they have the classic dolly elements the desolate landscapes stark light sharp shadows mutating displaced objects and optical illusions here a half kneeling figure becomes a hand holding an egg this is the grand entrance to Dolly's house at portlet in fact this small space was the original fisherman shack that he bought so first of all this is the only bit that he lived in gradually the whole place evolved and expanded outward like cellular growth and in later years when people came to meet them or you can see they've been met by this ferocious polar bear da leads surprisingly tasteful home is full of these unusual and unexpected objects with the exotic stuffed animals a giant eggs weird sculptures and sexually suggestive shapes it's like walking into one of his paintings but then dolly took surrealism far beyond just painting it permeated every aspect of his life in the 1930s he was a pioneer of the surreal object he would combine unusual and unlikely everyday things which went together who become something absurd yet strangely affecting most famously at all he created the lobster telephone one man import into darlie's surreal objects was the British patron Edward James I've come to his Sussex mansion to meet our curator ghilane wood and see some of the work that he commissioned heigl aim high alistair high grand play is it's amazing isn't it this is the vast country house of Eddie James he was a millionaire patron of Salvador Dali and lots of other surrealist artists actually and he was probably the most important patron of Contemporary Art in Britain in the 1920s and 30s and this was his parents house this vast country pile but he didn't feel very comfortable here so he actually moved into the hunting lodge in the grounds of West een Munson house and transformed it into this extraordinary surrealist environment sprite purple it is he covered the exterior in this incredible stucco and then painted it bright purple that became showcase house for Edwards collection of surrealist works what he did was actually take Dolly's ideas and then have made by his decorating firm what sort of things well the lip cipher which is just over here one of the most iconic objects created this is possibly the sexiest sofa I've ever seen it is it's the Mae West lip sofa and it's very playful piece but if you want to take it further it has all these other more disturbing perhaps meanings here we have the idea of fetishization just completely embodied all sorts of very erotic and disturbing ideas but in a piece of sort of luxury interior design well hang on a sec because I'm looking at this and it looks like a very sumptuous pair of plump juicy pink lips you're saying this is dark and disturbing well it is because if you think about it you sit in the mouth as soon as you interact with this object you're creating a dialogue between you and the object which of course is what Dali was so brilliant at doing and what much contemporary art has has has explored later on but of course the idea is that you are being swallowed into this female mouth upstairs we can see another version a one in red felt what Edward James loved it so much that he got it repeated again again edit have I've made Wow credible yes imagine having this at the foot of your bed can I just say that this is probably the most famous one of the most famous things of the 20th century and this is just an Edward James's bedroom it actually was made as a working telephone it's your ultimate surrealist composite object what it does is it takes two completely disparate pre-existing things a lobster and a telephone puts them together and creates a fantastic new reality but why do you think that this one has become so incredibly famous it's a very simple idea brilliantly done of course there's this fantastic slippage between the shape of the receiver and the lobster but also the idea of talking to a lobster is of course you know a very witty and humorous thing and I love this chair this is obviously just a pun on armchair it is and again derived from an idea by Salvador Dali these laws are really grasping for someone's bottom to come and sit on it well indeed all tickling your back depending on you know how are you I'm sitting it first I just reveal too much about myself well indeed I mean that's the thing about Dali it's all very subjective and personal it's not just Edward James's home that's been shaped by Dali surrealism is playful an unexpected transformation of everyday objects has had a huge influence on interior design one thing that darlie's surrealist objects teach us is that anything is possible why shouldn't a lobster or even a hamburger be a telephone why can't you sit enormous orange dog in the privacy of your own home one thing that Dali's introduced into the world of interior design is this sense of playfulness and wit and fun I mean look at this this is a contemporary piece it's a chair by the designer David pomper it's got these little silver legs I just know that Dali would have loved this this is really a latter-day surrealist object by now Dolly's ambitions were limitless and ever The provocateur he wanted to preach the gospel of surrealism to as wide an audience as possible and in the 30s there was only one place in the world where he could really do that New York we all know that today's artists manipulate the way they're presented in the media everyone from Madonna and Tracey Emin to Lady Gaga play up to the cameras and understand the power of publicity but in many ways it was dolly who blazed a trail for them when he arrived here in New York the circus had come to town New York became a showcase for Dolly's work he exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art design shop windows on Fifth Avenue and even made a surreal installation at the World's Fair he called his creation the dream of Venus the Pleasure Dome filled with naked women an unfettered desire the persistence of memory was unveiled in New York in 1932 it was originally bought for just 250 dollars but the reaction to it and to darling was immense dollie once said fame was as intoxicating to me as a spring morning and here in America we found plain like you've never known it before he loved him ever the consummate showman he quickly realized that America might just be as oyster and soon enough he was swept up in a frenzy of self-promotion in 36 he appeared on the cover of Time magazine which was a huge deal for an eccentric young Spanish artist who was barely into his 30s the reporter at the time said that Dali had a faculty for publicity that should turn any circus press-agent green with envy and it's true Darlie was a master at staging spectacular stunts that generated huge amounts of hype he appeared in Life Magazine six times and he even created his own newspaper which was called of course the Dali News Dali was one of the first artists in history to so wanted leaked all publicity he was also one of the first to inject some irreverent fun into the pompous earnest world of fine art he was the trailblazer for later superstar artists like Andy Warhol and more recently Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons this studio belongs to Jeff Koons one of the most successful artists working anywhere in the world today his art sells for millions of dollars and it's witty playful and irreverent and definitely draws upon Dolly's sense of the surreal he's absolutely one of my favorite artists so I'm really excited to be meeting him Koons and his team transform familiar objects into witty new pretty bizarre works of art recently his work has included inflatable toys to pay homage to Dolly's mustache and his love of lobsters when I saw this you know I you know I love the shape of it that it's both male and female but if you look at the tentacles it's very much like dollies most hugely liked it yeah and but it also it so it's masculine it has arms like an acrobat quite athletic but the tail the tails like you know a Venus is this in a way your portrait dolly I think it makes reference to dolly and one of Dolly's great friends marcel duchamp they always print on these pool toys that this is not a life-saving device but you know art is a life-saving device and so I always like that kind of contradiction and also this gives you a sense of equilibrium when you're in the water kusers work is joyfully surreal from his balloon dog and silver rabbit to his huge puppy made out of flowers you can see the debt to dolly who we first encountered when he was a teenager I met dolly in 73 so I found out they was at the st. Regis Hotel and so I called up and he answered the phone and I told him I'm just a young artist I would love to meet him and he said well you know come up Saturday morning and I'll meet you at the hotel at noon I arrived I was there and right at noon he was in the lobby and he had on a fur coat and he had a tie with diamond pins in it and an elaborate cane I have a photo in let me show but this is a photograph of from that moment and I just remember that you know I was very I was excited and I remember him saying you know you have to hurry up he fixed his moustache he put it up and he said you have to hurry up Jeff because you know I can't hold this pose all day and I don't know if he said Jeff but probably young boys you'd like to think you do too that evening I really thought we know I can do this too an art can be a complete way of life for me I can spend all my time doing it and I really had a sense of possibility you know I think dolly very much was about kind of the expansion of horizon and a possibility a great symbol of the avant-garde so Dolly's work expanded the boundaries of what's possible challenging and unsettling us but thrown together the unexpected and that's just what we see walking down today's catwalk like the late Alexander McQueen's designs which drool unlikely way out reference even high street fashion has embraced surrealism and this is largely thanks to dolly who back in the 30s was turning clothes into an extension of his arms taking inspiration from his paintings like this one he and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli created a range of surrealist tinged clothing the terre dress created the illusion of ripped skin showing the flesh beneath and the shoe had turned convention on its head they even designed a dress featuring Dolly's favorite crustacean which he thought was somehow sexually suggestive an illusion perhaps not lost on Wallis Simpson just before she married Edward the eighth and today celebrities like Lady gaga certainly continue the tradition of seriously surreal fashion the glittering world of high fashion acquainted dolly with jewelry another delight for his inventive spirit he designed brooches like tearful eyes and ruby red lips with pearls for teeth but it wasn't just wearable jewelry typically Darley push things even further later in his career blurring the line between jewelry and sculpture creating jaw-droppingly intricate objects that on closer inspection deliver a surreal twist in 2007 damien hirst made headlines with his skull covered in more than eight and a half thousand diamonds it was on sale for 50 million pounds but dolly had got there first more than half a century before Damien Hirst caused a sensation with his diamond skull Dali was already designing jewelry and pretty weird jewelry at that this piece is called the wall heart and it consists of a heart made of rubies as beating in the middle of a gold setting it's not to everybody's taste it's quite brash and possibly even grotesque but there's something quite mesmerizing about watching this very hard substance the Ruby look incredibly soft and flesh like they're in the middle of the brooch by the 1940s Don had produced numerous surrealist masterpieces made a groundbreaking film and introduced surrealism to fashion and jewelry the really weird thing is that even though Darlie had done all of this stuff to promote surrealism right around the world make it this incredibly famous and popular artistic movement the founder of the movement Andre Breton wasn't happy he actually expelled dolly from the surrealist altogether ridiculing is not the fame and money with a catchy anagram that transforms Salvador Dali into a vida dollars it basically means greedy for bucks more seriously the predominantly left-wing surrealist took deeper fence when Dali failed to protest against the rise of fascism across Europe they particularly disapproved of him depicting Hitler in some of his paintings the Surrealists may have disowned him that dolly didn't care he thought he was surrealism with without the official stamp he simply aimed his sights higher and headed to Hollywood known as The Dream Factory after all everybody comes to make it in the neighborhood as soon as he arrived he was in the limelight throwing lavish bizarre and star-studded parties ever since Dolly's early success with his surreal films he'd been keen to return to the biggest most mainstream canvas on offer cinema in 1944 Alfred Hitchcock commissioned dolly to design the dream sequences for his new psychological thriller spellbound the film starred Ingrid Bergman as a frosty psychoanalyst who falls in love with her amnesiac patient played by Gregory Peck who might or might not be a killer it was one of the first films to treat the subject of psychoanalysis seriously paving the way for Hitchcock's later masterpieces like psycho and vertigo the studio loved the idea of Dolly's involvement because it guaranteed free publicity they estimated that the commercial value of his name was fifty thousand dollars an enormous amount for the forties for his part Darlie believed that he was about to ignite Hollywood with his surrealist art seem to be a gambling house but they're wondering Darlie designed the backdrops for a dream sequence in which he revisited the ice slitting moment that he devised on Chien Andalou Hitchcock understood exactly why dolly was gonna work so well on film I requested dolly Selznick the producer had the impression that I wanted darling for the publicity value yeah it wasn't it at all what I was after was again the thing we talked about earlier the vividness of dreams as you know all Dolly's work is very solid and very shocked with very long perspectives and black shadows this was again the avoidance of the cliche or dreams in movies a blood it isn't true dolly was the best man for me to do the dreams because that's what dreams should be so that was a reason I had dolly during the filming of spellbound Darlie met another filmmaker with whom he could collaborate Walt Disney at the beginning of 1946 Darlie arrived here at the Walt Disney Studios to work on a 6-minute animated film called destino for the next eight weeks he clocked in every morning like a regular employee and headed down dopey drive to make his preparatory sketches dolly loved the creative possibilities of animation now he could take all the elements of his paintings the melting forms illusioned an optical trickery to a fantastical new level Dali's animation was in fact never made in his lifetime instead his drawings remained here in the Disney archives until 2003 when animator Dave Basit finally brought Dolly's vision to life dolly had always admired Walt Disney's animation he thought that that was the natural extension of surrealism I've got a couple examples of some of the visual development work that he did and this is actually one of my favorite pieces I really like this piece a lot there's a baby carriage for this woman's head and she's wearing the snail slippers which are kind of interesting what does it mean you know it beats me I don't know what it means but I like looking at it this one it's showing our hero she's actually sort of dancing up this incline and there's this vat of eyeballs here and when she gets up to the top she's going to go off and fall into a big basket of eyeballs don't ask me to tell you what that means anything like melting clocks or a telephone receiver like a spider those things are just perfect for animation absolutely perfect a whimsical the fantasy they're fun those are the types of things you want to see in animation by the 1950s Dali was the world famous champion of surrealism and would try his hand at almost anything as the years passed his moustache who ever longer and his behavior became ever more eccentric like a circus showman he constantly engineered weird stunts that would attract headlines one of many was his 12 meter long loaf of bread many felt that Darlie was undermining his reputation they were dismayed that the man who'd created such groundbreaking and influential work was descending into buffoonery the Dolly's antics popularized surrealism taking it far beyond the elite world of fine art today it's everywhere you can hardly turn on your TV without encountering the surreal I've come to meet top ad exec Robert senior to find out why today's commercials in particular so often so surreal I mean I just should start by saying I really love that ads and part the reason I think I love it is because you've got this gorilla he looks so soulful and sort of kind of sad and bit melancholy and then he just lets rip and he starts drumming it's already good fun what it's got to do with chocolate I do not know at all but my understanding is that it works the start point was I want to bring till we want to bring to life and dramatize if you like unbridled joy why a gorilla why not well isn't that precisely the point of Surrealism things are so much more beguiling the less you understand them yeah but something else like I don't know a lizard doing the can-can that that would work it could have been you see that's the wrong lens that's the lens to try and understand why to try and apply a cognitive analysis to it is to miss the point it's it's a start point is not I want you to think differently about this the start point is I want you to feel an emotion about that the art of a great salesman is they don't have to sell and surrealism takes you away from the real quite literally into another place and it makes you feel something you can't quite rationalize you take Dali himself I think he really understood branding in its truest sense he understood the importance of being of the element of surprise and that's just great and yet he was very consistent in that included in how he presented himself and that's that's that the mark of a great brand he understood branding so much that he actually started appearing in ads and I brought along a disc with a couple of his best ads on it and I'd like to I don't I don't think you've ever seen them I don't know like that it'd be good to get you yes that's all right yeah yeah happy wobbles but devoted bubbles candy alka-seltzer shoots into the stomach here neutralizes that bad excess acid means and especially before a screen is feeding into your bloodstream to all places of pain so those beautiful places will feel beautiful again alka-seltzer is a work of art truly one of a kind like a dolly just feet through the shop all along then I think the first one for the alka-seltzer yea-ah was genius it's a magnificently engaging product demo it's fantastic because it's bonkers and you have a surrealist being surreal about an incredibly logical piece of science that's the juxtaposition if ever there was one I think that was great and the chocolate one was pointless pointless I love the chocolate one yeah but that's just steel exactly great and your bowtie won't that's how it goes that's how it was so Dolly was more than happy to peddle his own brand of surrealism for commercial gain like here in an advert for stockings darling even designed a logo for this incredibly familiar lollipop now I had loads of these when I was a kid and what I never actually knew was that all the time I was missing a surrealist work of art despite the stunts and commercial ventures dollies post-war career did deliver some of his most popular paintings a new fascination with religion informed pictures like the temptation of Saint Anthony recalling the imagery of his childhood Dolly fused the virgin with Darla in his painting the Madonna of portly gat the crucifixion inspired into in 1951 he painted Christ of st. John on the cross it's bold perspective apparently inspired by a dream reveals the coast of caddock Eze beneath the hovering cross and with the onset of the Cold War and the nuclear age another big theme caught his imagination just as Freud had preoccupied daily earlier in his career now nuclear physics the science behind the atom bomb obsessed him most of all he was about to enter a new phase as an artist and would soon anoint himself the first painter of the atomic age he christened this phase nuclear mysticism and began reworking some say recycling his most famous motifs reflecting how the fabric of life is made up of moving atoms everything jumping and pumping in a completely extraordinary a Lipnick feeling and all your life will be to the rhythm of atomic expectedly one new kind of atomic and nuclear mysticism in the 60s and 70s Darlie split his time between his home in Spain Paris and New York performing that famous caricature version of himself and continuing to talk publicity and controversy this is where Darlie stayed whenever he was in New York the rather grand st. Regis Hotel where he held courts entertained as many admirers and acolytes and got up to all sorts of incredibly surreal mischief his HQ was in the hotel bar and here every Sunday evening crowds would arrive to get a glimpse of the great artists in the 70s artist Lewis McCoy I befriended him here there was a round table that Dali was sitting at with large candelabra lit and it was very much like a talk show host thing where Dali was the host and the most famous the most rich or the most outrageous person was the one that got to sit next to him next anybody who's rich and famous stopped by the Rolling Stones The Grateful Dead you know you you name the people David Bowie Andy Warhol was always here Warhol had at one time made a gift to Dali of a Marilyn lithograph that he had done so he brought it to Dave in one of the men he gave him one of the Marilyn's it was I would say 24 inches square something like that he didn't think Warhol was a very good painter at all and and Dali promptly put it on the floor unzipped his fly and pissed on it when front of it and in front of Warhol which Warhol didn't mind at all he thought it was really great it was a lot of wild stuff there was a time where we talked about horseshoe crabs because of their shape and because they had these projectiles that look like rhinoceros ones that I had made helmets for Dali and gala actually Richa where can i model it yes you more than happy to put it around this thing it goes on like this you just just put it on it has a velvet liner so you just get your elastic on what do you reckon we just wore them for the night in the bar actually here and just saw the reactions of people I've also brought a project that I did with Dali that came to be known the flying fried eggs essentially three fried eggs on a hovercraft the toy is it the little craft is a toy but dolly had fried eggs and many of his paintings and I brought the idea to him and we made this toy this is Ray I love it so we made the fried eggs and we walked them into the lobby and we walked them from here to the to the plaza and created a huge commotion by the time we get to the plaza there's probably four or five hundred people following the eggs he really was the carrier of Surrealism and and lived it all the time Dolly's exhibition is clowning help destroy the archetype of the solemn suffering artists Alton artists in the future would be a lot more playful irreverent and conspicuous but Dali wasn't just playing the fool in the final decades of his life back home in Spain he'd been working on his last great project a monument to that brand of surrealism that had become his life's work this is the dahle theater museum in figueres you could call it the largest surrealist object in the world its design encapsulate slots of Dolly's obsessions the golden statuettes refer to Hollywood there are eggs spherical atoms and the red facade is studded with these bread rolls which Dali thought were like goose bumps ruffling the building's skin he wanted everyone who visited his museum to feel like they were walking into a theatrical dream this place is unbelievable this is the central courtyard of darlie's theatre Museum and I feel like I've walked right into the middle of his brain dollie once said that he wanted to produce a dream that could also be used as a living room and this is what he came up with he hung some pictures on the wall he created a strange pink fireplace stocked with logs and in the middle of the room he placed one of his most famous ever inventions a ravishing pair of red lips that also double up as a sofa and the view of it is much better from up here the installation is typical of his work it's playful its witty it's unexpected to reverent it certainly surreal and most of all it's very very sexy the museum opened in 1974 and Darlie now in his 70s painted this ceiling to commemorate what he felt was his legacy as the managing director of the gala Salvador Dali Foundation Juan Manuel Saviano explains the summing up of a lot of the powerful symbols he created throughout his years his legacy will be a source of richness wealth and well-being for his city as you can see that there's a rainfall of gold there and and all his creations dancing this somehow leads us to to a moment where him and gala look at the path they will follow towards the afterlife and somehow Dahle comes to terms with the terror that filled his life about dying and moving on is it true that some people when they come here they're quite sniffy about the museum some people are because they come with the wrong expectations they expect to see our museum no gallery with square rooms and paintings placed one next to each other with exactly the same separation between them and a lot of it a lot of literature under them which is fine it is a reasonable expectation but this place is unreasonable so you have to brace for what's going to hit you once you walk in through the door this was painted quite late on in his career I think in the 70s absolutely some people are quite dismissive about his later works and see this kind of thing is quite kitsch and almost silly with the big feet and everything yeah do you think that's unfair I think it is I think he he did a whole bunch of things that were not understood back then by his contemporaries but are now what all our great contemporary artists are doing he was the first person to understand mass culture and understand mass communication I think that it is this time that we start really understanding how important that he was for the world of 20th century art and for what has come after dollie died in January 1989 he was buried at the center of the museum which is now his mausoleum when I started this film I knew that Darlie was really really painting his early surrealist pictures really are true masterpieces of the 20th century they can drop all the desires and also anxieties that underpin the modern world but what I've discovered is that there's so much more to this exuberant Spanish genius Darlie liberated what it meant to be an artist and he used that wild persona to communicate the ideas of surrealism to a worldwide audience just look Dali left an indelible mark everything from cinema to painting to jewelry and fashion to design and advertising even comedy there isn't much that Dali hasn't changed as he said himself when I paint the sea roars the others just splash about in the bath if you'd like to find out more about the art and the influence of Matisse Picasso Dali and Warhol then go online to BBC co uk and that was the final part of modern masters living out our high street dreams here on BBC HD tomorrow night at 9:00 but back to tonight and there's comedy next naïveté upon your crazy in the coconut what does that mean that I need snare I'm gonna kill you I need sterile ready Gazoo let's haven't you

34 thoughts on “Salvador Dalí: A Master of the Modern Era. MIKOS ARTS – A Documentary for educational purposes only”

  1. Hmmm this guy Kunes is suppose to be an artist yet has a team of people creating his stuff that he just signs off on. He just looks like a typical business man in it fort he profits. I wonder who the balloon dog idea really belonged to that he just said sure sounds good.

  2. I enjoyed this documentary, like this guy also, but Damien Hirst is a tosser, never mention him again alongside the great Salvador Dali, that's like having a documentary about Mozart and mentioning your uncle who knows how to play the opening sequence to the Pink panther hahaha…He covered a platinum skull in diamonds, ''wow, oh my god you are such a profound genius wow, how did he do it??… lets study his brain''…he didn't even make the fucking thing and yet he gets all the credit for it… Learn to paint and draw, otherwise fuck off. What a bum.

  3. The music at the start is so horrible it becomes a surreal moment making me want to jump out a window. LoL

  4. So much vanity in the narrator. It's never enjoyable to watch the ego. I'm signing out. Thumbs down.

  5. "what do you think of my mustache, would you like me to shave it off. for this, I will do for you, if you like"

  6. Dali and ppl like him are the seasoning of this world. And when talking about him directly, man, the food of life is damn spicy
    love him!

  7. can you imagine Dali, Lorca and Buñuel all together at La residencia de estudiantes in Madrid?? Jesus Christ! fuck the Hell Angels!! that was the most powerfull gang in history!! WHAT A BUNCH,WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!

  8. Narrator is a jackass. What's up with his artistic interpretations? The blokes nether regions? But doesn't mention completely androgynous quality of the blokes nether regions impotent quality I should say. Maybe I should make crappy documentaries.

  9. 17:00 I absolutely love the boosh and Noel! Can't believe he's in this! Dali is amazing and I have been a fan since I was little

  10. When Dali met someone or talked with a close friend who asked him what a painting or work of art meant or what each figure/symbol represented he would simply ask them: "What do you think it means?" They would then give an explanation to each one or to the whole painting and he would act/pretend to be absolutely amazed!!…he would then say "No one has ever really seen my painting for what it was like I have.. but that is correct! But don't tell anyone, between you and me…" He would say this to each person no matter the explanation given…. Because that's Surrealism… What an awesome guy

  11. Wanna know when Salvidor Dali made his deal with the Devil to become a true Surrealist capable of getting into peoples unconcious minds and dreams? 1928, my birthday 9/28, other deals I made that year? The Call of Cthulu and the creation of Mickey Mouse

  12. Salvador Dali was one of the major inspirations of my childhood and teenage years back in the 1960s and '70s. For me, he helped define what it means to an artist, and beyond that he had a playfulness and positive attitude that I've always admired. I am an artist today because of him. I'm not someone who would ever have had the opportunity to meet him, but I always wanted to, if only to thank him for being who he was.
    A beautiful man with a beautiful mind.

  13. Magnifique. I've been following the life of Dali myself, in Cadaquez in Spain. I have a profound respect for this artist.

  14. 30 seconds in and the style of this video is unacceptable. It should include a barf bag. Guess I'll move on an find a way to learn more about Dali without puking and having a seizure. Thanks for nothing you high tech fucks.

  15. It is true he's famous for the melting clocks… but go to St. Pete in FL and you should check out his Master Works…. absolutely unbelievable! Including the sight of his Abraham Lincoln piece… epic….

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