Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Lobster Telephone

The Lobster telephone 1936

Plastic, painted plaster and mixed media

The work was comissioned by the  Edward James (1907-1984). He was  a wealthy and eccentric poet and collector who had inherited a vast English estate and fortune at the age of five.

A great supporter of the Surrealists, James financed the early issues of the Surrealist magazine Minotaure, and was also a follower of the Belgian artist René Magritte, whom he met through Dalí. 

James spent a small fortune on Dalí, and eventually owned between forty and fifty of his best works, all from the 1930s (his greatest period). He started to turn his country manor into a fantasy palace filled with every kind of strange and exotic objects. 

At this point Dali conceived a truly strange object, by placing a lobster atop a phone, which was also called the Aphrodisiac telephone at the time. James replaced the telephones in his house with Dali's ones.

Dalí's Lobster telephone was not 'absolutely useless',  but a perfectly functioning telephone. 

Edward James purchased four Lobster telephones from Dalí as well as  three of Dalí's sofas in the shape of Mae West's lips and placed them  into his living quarters. The wood-and-satin sofas were shaped after the lips of actress Mae West, whom Dalí apparently found fascinating.

One of the lobster telephones, partially reconstructed is now at Tate in London. One is in Frankfurt at the German Telephone Museum. One is owned by the Edward James Foundation and the forth is in the National Gallery of Australia.

Dali and Surrealism

In 1926 Dali made his first visit to Paris, where he met Picasso. Dali has experimented with Cubism in his works and admired Picasso. Picasso had already heard favorable reports about Dalí from Joan Miró. As he developed his own style over the next few years Dalí made a number of works heavily influenced by Picasso and Miró.

In the late 1920' Dali was close to Surrealist ideas. He collaborated with his friend Luis Bunuel on the films Un chien andalou (1929) and L'Age d'or (1930) and was accepted into the movement. He will turn away from the Surrealists in the late 1930', but during these years he will be able to turn his ideas into various forms: paintings, film, poetry and OBJECTS.

Dali wrote a catalogue of the different categories of  Surrealist objects: Symbolically Functioning Objects (automatic origin),  Transubstantiated Objects ( affective origin), Objects for Hurling  (dream objects), Enveloped Objects (daytime fantasy).

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Dali Museums and Exhibitions

Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain
Salvador Dalí’s Home - Museum in Portlligat, Spain
Gala Dali Castle in Púbol, Spain
Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain

The Dali Museum in St. Petesburg, Florida

Salvador Dalí Gallery in Pacific Palisades, California

Espace Dalí in Montmartre, Paris, France

Dali Universe in London, Uk- closed in  January 2010, to be re-opened

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The fascinating and intriguing DALI

To write about Salvador Dali is a serious enterprise. So,  I will not pretend that I will do it in the best way or in the most comprehensive way...But still, there are so many interesting aspects linked to his life and work that I will start and struggle.

His life adventure illustrates such interesting years as the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s....What a journey!

He was born in Figueras, a small Catalan town close to the French border in 1904. His beloved mother died in 1921 of breast cancer and as he said her death had a strong impact on him.

He studied in Madrid at the Academia de San Fernando. He had  a very eccentric style, in the 19s century English aesthetes: sideburns, coat, stockings, and knee breeches. Here me made friends with Luis Buñuel (surrealist film maker, do not miss ' Belle de jour' 1963 with Catherine Deneuve) and Federico Garcia Lorca ( poet). He was expelled in 1926 just before his final exams.

His Basket of Bread, shows the skill he had at that time and it took him 4 months. He pained it again after 19 years in 1945 and he said that it was the most esoteric and surrealist thing he had ever painted. 

More to come.....

Friday, 23 September 2011

Rabindranath Tagore, Poet and painter

Lover's Gifts IV: She Is Near to My Heart
 Rabindranath Tagore

She is near to my heart as the meadow-flower to the earth; she is
sweet to me as sleep is to tired limbs. My love for her is my life
flowing in its fullness, like a river in autumn flood, running with
serene abandonment. My songs are one with my love, like the murmur
of a stream, that sings with all its waves and current.

Friday, 16 September 2011

A secret

Out of the blue
Acrylics on canvas

Monday, 12 September 2011

Dada and Tristan Tzara

The beginning of the Surrealism is linked by many to the so called 'literature' period. Here we find Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Luis Aragon and others.

The Romanians Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco are together with others from the Zurich group, founders of the Dada group, brought to Paris in the 20'. It was immediately embraced by the 'Literature' group.

Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. The movement influenced later styles like the avant- garde and music movements, and groups including Surrealism, Nouveau Realisme , pop art, Fluxus and punk rock.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

My motto

I do not have any talent, I only do things passionately! A. Einstein

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Miro and the Surrealism - some lines

Joan Miro' 's dream like canvases of 1920s are associated with the Surrealist movement. We are in front of " peinture-poesie" works. Miro' was reading Rimbaud, Alfred Jarry, Saint-Pol-Roux and Comte de Lautreamont.
He was never a member of the Dada or of the Surrealist group in Paris but he shared their rejection of traditional painting. In 1923 he met Robert Desnos, one of the "sleeping"poets who produced poetry in an unconscious state.
Inspired by Surrealists experiments in automatism, Miro' developed a language of marks, signs and symbols in his paintings.
His friend Michel Leiris was a member of the Surrealist movement. In Paris, Miro' shared the Blomet studios with other artists such as Andre' Masson.
"Rather that setting out to paint something, I begin painting. As I paint the picture begins to assert itself under my brush. The form becomes a sigtn for a woman or a bird as I work...the first stage is free, unconscious."



Earth and Sky

Acrylic on canvas
The four elements melting in earth and sky
Cer si pamant