Salvador Dali and the Surrealists: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities
Michael Elsohn Ross
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The bizarre and often humorous creations of René Magritte, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, and other surrealists are showcased in this activity guide for young artists. Foremost among the surrealists, Salvador Dalí was a painter, filmmaker, designer, performance artist, and eccentric self-promoter. His famous icons, including the melting watches, double images, and everyday objects set in odd contexts, helped to define the way people view reality and encourage children to view the world in new ways. Dalí’s controversial life is explored while children trace the roots of some familiar modern images. These wild and wonderful activities include making Man Ray–inspired solar prints, filming a Dali-esque dreamscape video, writing surrealist poetry, making collages, and assembling art with found objects.
works. Dalí was very impressed, and many of his paintings from that year show the influence of Picasso’s style. Picasso was impressed with Dalí’s work as well. Later that year, he even recommended Dalí to his art dealer. Dalí’s trip to Paris and Brussels was thrilling. At the Louvre (lewv), in Paris, he viewed paintings of the master artists Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. In Brussels he closely examined the techniques of Flemish painters such as Jan Vermeer. It’s not known if Dalí went to any of
the mantelpiece are empty candlesticks and a clock. Above them is a mirror, which reflects nothing in the room except for the candlesticks and clock. All of these works are painted in a realistic style. The viewer is often left wondering what Magritte’s paintings really mean, and is challenged to rethink reality. Magritte liked to play with both reality and fantasy. In one picture, he transformed the fantasy figure of a mermaid by reversing the parts of her body. His version had a fish head and
father stating that he was banished forever from the family. Afterward, Salvador shaved his head and buried the hair on the beach. When he left for Paris in December, instead of looking back at Cadaqués from the last viewpoint, as he had always done, he looked straight ahead. He was off to Paris, and to Gala, for good. Dalí and Gala, 1930. Life with Gala Back in Paris, Gala and Dalí began to develop a partnership, which would eventually bring Dalí great fame and earn Gala tremendous riches.
fascist dictators Mussolini and Hitler. Breton was not at all happy when he saw Dalí’s new painting, The Enigma of William Tell. In the picture is a man, with Lenin’s face, leaning on a crutch. When some of the surrealists saw it displayed in a show, they tried to poke holes in it with a cane. In another piece, Dalí had painted Hitler as a nurse, knitting and sitting in a puddle. These images were coming into Dalí’s dreams, and he wanted to paint what he dreamed. He saw Hitler as a leader who
income. Later in 1935, Dalí and Gala also found a new patron who would be very important in supporting Dalí’s work for the next few years. Edward James was a wealthy Englishman who disliked being called an “art collector.” He saw himself as a true patron of the arts, and had chosen Dalí as an artist who needed his support. Having James as a steady customer, in addition to receiving a monthly sum from his father, made life much easier for Dalí. In the autumn of 1935, James came to Port Ligat to