Salvador Felip Jacint Dali Domenech was born on May 11, 1904 in Catalan, Spain. Salvador Dali was a popular surrealist painter in the early 20th century.
Dali spent much of his childhood growing up in Catalonia along with his younger sister. His parents, Salvaor Dali I Cusi and Felipa Domenech Ferres, frequently encouraged him in his artistic endeavors. His father even arranged an exhibition displaying Dali’s charcoal drawings in their home. Dali received his first artistic training in Municipal Drawing School and later moved to Madrid where he attended the Academy of Arts.
Dali was popular for experimenting with cubism – an art movement in the early 20th century, recognized by taking a subject, breaking it up into segments and then reassembling them in abstract form within a painting. While he was not formally trained in the movement himself, his paintings drew the attention of his fellow classmates as well as the public. He continued study at the Academy until 1926. He was then expelled after he claimed that none of his instructors were competent enough to examine him for his final exams.
It was also in 1926 that he visited Paris and met Pablo Picasso, another wildly famous cubist artist. As a result, Dali’s work was, for a time, heavily influenced by Picasso’s work. He dabbled in using classical art style as well as abstract style in his own work over the years. Dali adopted the concept and identity as a surrealist – which was already blatantly evident in his work. He was an influence on pop art due to his use of optical illusions, especially in his later work. Dali very often experimented with many different mediums and executions of his work. Over the span of his career, Dali created over 1500 works in many different styles and mediums. He was a huge influence on future generations of artists – including the likes of Andy Warhol.
Dali was considered to be a very unique and eccentric individual. He held various political views at various times from anarchism and communism to Marxism. However it is believed that he expressed views in support of these political stances more to insight shock and dismay rather than truly holding these beliefs in his every day life.
He was believed to be bi-sexual – once becoming romantically involved with poet Federico Garcia Lorea – an experience that he recalls as “painful.” He met Helena Dmitrievna Deluvina Dlakonova or Gala, a she was later called, while collaborating on a film in 1929. He married her in 1934 in a civil ceremony. She was very often the subject of his paintings and drawings until her death in 1982. Dali was heartbroken and by all accounts, lost his will to live. He endured several more years without her until his own death from heart failure in 1989.