Salvador Dali is one of the most famous Spanish painters who is well known for surrealist paintings. It is not uncommon for famous artists to have dark secrets and interesting lives and Salvador Dali is no exception. Below are 11 shocking facts that you never knew about the famous painter.
- Dali was expelled from art school out of his own doing.
In his final paper in art history, Dali refused to be examined by any of professors. He stated that none of the professors were smart or competent enough to examine his work. This however was not his reason behind wanting to be expelled. He still needed financial support from his father as he went on to pursue his art career and getting his degree would put a stop to his financing. He later went on to study in Paris after being expelled and just as he wanted, his father funded his studies.
- Dali found great importance and meaning in cauliflowers
Dali clearly had his own line of thought and this could be seen in how he carried himself and did things. He once filled his Rolls Royce Phantom II with cauliflower with the net weight of 500kg. He then drove this load from Spain to Paris. He later informed his audience that “everything ends up in the cauliflower”. Dali however later stated that he liked the logarithmic curve of the cauliflower.
- He did not make an ideal guest show host
In the early fifties, Dali made an appearance in the game show “What’s my line.” The contestants had to guess his profession by asking yes or no questions. He replied yes to different professions which included a writer, a cartoon artist, TV personality and an athlete.
- Dali never travelled light
In 1934 when arriving at the New York harbor for the second time in his life, Dali wore a life jacket throughout the journey and had 12 pieces of his art stringed to his body. Once he arrived, he waved a 2 meter long loaf of bread at the paparazzi but unfortunately for him they were not really impressed by his actions.
- He made his secretaries millionaires even though it was all accidental
At the beginning of his career, Dali paid his secretaries with commission. He did not give them a salary and at the moment the money he paid them hardly paid their rent. They later on made seven figure salaries which made them millionaires.
- He painted a portrait of Laurence Oliver which he never received
Dali was commissioned by Laurence Oliver to make a portrait of him. The portrait was of Laurence playing a leading role and the director was Alexander Korda. Dali refused to finish painting his portrait in England stating that it was not the best place for him to paint. He instead travelled back to Spain where he painted Laurence but the painting was held at the airport. The security team decided that the piece was priceless and could not be transported so Dali ended up acquiring it as his own priced possession.
Dali was impressed and inspired with different scientific theories that were given forth by the famous physicist Dr. Werner Heisenberg. He believed that the two were somehow connected through their brilliance. He stated that the feeling of inspiration between the two was mutual and this reflected in selected famous oil painting by Dali. The name was later adopted by Breaking Bad’s protagonist, Walter White. Dali was later quoted and stated that Heisenberg was the only other person he admired other than himself.
- Dali nearly came to appoint of suffocation while explaining how important he was
Dali wore a deep sea blue diving suit in 1936 during the London Surrealist exhibition where many of Salvador Dali paintings were exhibited. This was a way of him demonstrating how he was in the deepest part of the subconscious. However what his fans did not realize the time was the simple fact that he was suffocating in the sound proof glass bowl that he had chosen to make his demonstration in. He was rescued from his own show by David Gascoyne who was a poet and broke him off the glass bowl.
- Dali’s pets were also works of art
Dali owned a pet ocelot in the sixties who he dearly named Babou. His pet was always with him on a leash with studded collar even in restaurants. He was once approached by a dinner guest in a Manhattan restaurant who was quite alarmed by his pet. He however kept her at ease by telling her that the pet was a cat but had given him a paint’s coating in one of his art exhibitions.
- Dali married his friend’s wife
Gala who was Dali’s wife met him when she was a married woman. She was wife to a famous poet by the name Paul Eluard. Eluard later showed up to his marriage ceremony as a witness by Dali’s family greatly disapproved of their union. As a result, he was disinherited by his father who greatly disapproved of the fact that Gala was not only a mother but also 10 years older than Dali.
- Dali was committed to all of Gala’s demands to her grave
Dali and Gala’s marriage lasted to her grave. Despite the fact that Gala had several lovers, Dali stuck by her side. Dali bought his wife a castle located in Pubol which was only 50miles from his own home. Even though he was the one who made the purchase for the house, Dali could only show up at the house through written invite. Gala on the other hand continued to host her lovers in the castle, one of who was the star of the Jesus Christ musical and went by the name Jeff Fenholt.
Most famous artist has deep flaws, insecurities and very interesting secrets. He was however well known for very famous paintings which are memorable and will be remembered throughout history.