Like ballerinas, Salvador Dali was simultaneously an artist and a work of art. When not piecing together some of the most out-there, psychedelic portraits known to man, Dali did the same with his public persona. His classic, occasionally nonsensical one liners like “I don’t do drugs; I am drugs” have gone down in history, along with photos of him walking an anteater and, naturally, shaping his inimitable mustache into a dollar bill.
As with other surrealists, Salvador Dali embraced the irrational and bizarre as his truths, digging deep into our unconscious selves only to splash his findings onto the canvas. Such a movement was not unforeseen: in the eyes of surrealists, it was cold, rational calculation that led to conflict, war and alienation seen in the 20th century. If we were to survive as a people, we needed to reject this artificial and harmful way of thinking about the world; we had to look inward as opposed to outward. In other words, you guessed it, we needed to ditch realism for surrealism. And as the following photos show, Dali did that in all facets of his life:
In a technical sense, Dali and his contemporaries were unsuccessful in altering the world’s consciousness, but their work–as complex as it is absurd–is an invaluable artistic challenge to the chilly realism that largely defined the 20th century. For more on surrealism, check out our post on the most iconic surrealist paintings.
All images come from Tumblr.