5 November 2012

Salvador Dali on "What's My Line?", his books and "Un Chien Andalou"

Once upon a time there were a group of people whose dream was to set other people free. The dream, the unreal, the subconscious were the instruments for this. As Andre Breton explained in his first Manifesto:

The mere word freedom is the only one that still excites me. I deem it capable of indefinitely sustaining the old human fanaticism.It doubtless satisfies my only legitimate aspiration. Among all the many misfortunes to which we are heir, it is only fair to admit that we are allowed the greatest degree of freedom of thought. It is up to us not to misuse it. To reduce the imagination to a state of slavery — even though it would mean the elimination of what is commonly called happiness — is to betray all sense of absolute justice within oneself.
(Translation by R.Swaver and H.R. Lane) 

Probably one of the first visual manifestos of Surrealism was the short movie 'Un Chien Andalou' directed by Luis Buñuel and written by him and Salvador Dali.

Through their accomplishment with Un Chien Andalou, Dalí and Buñuel became the first filmmakers to be officially welcomed into the ranks of the Surrealists by the movement's leader André Breton.

I mentioned once that Breton was a kind of dictator of Surrealism. He was like a pope, he cursed and excommunicated. He was immune to most of the sins, except for pride and lust. In contrast to the other surreal artists he had no sense of humour, he was a deadly serious man.

 Dali, for almost 40 years, has been the most famous painters alive. Not only as a surreal painter but as a visual artist in general. I have a kind of weird relationship with Dali's art. I love his techniques. He is a genius painter, old master quality. He created the most amazing and shocking paintings. I love his art made between 1929 till 1939. After that he become a slave of his wife Gala, and a caricature of himself. He become a brand with his bodily trademark, the moustache (not really original, adopted from portrait of Philip IV by Velásquez.)

Here in the short video you can watch Dali live, still in good shape, on American TV in a 'What's My Line' show from 1952.

'What's My Line' was a panel show in which 4 celebrities had to work out the occupations of a series of invited guests. This show originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967. Here is one of the early shows with Salvador Dali as a guest.


If you are a collector or interested in books about, illustrated by or featuring the art of Dali, here is a link to an blog about all of those things : http://dalibookcollector.blogspot.co.uk/p/books-illustrated-by-dali.html


Frank Zweegers said...

The first video doesn't work. Nice post, Dali is great!

Kasia Turajczyk said...

Frank, thank you for inform me about this fact. Fixed it I hope.