Naomi and Dali 2013: Finding Your Muse


Salvador Dali

I have a large coffee table book of Salvador Dali paintings. My entire living room is decorated around it. It is what moves me. However, with a two year old walking around vandalizing everything in her wake I had to put it away and it now lives underneath my bed. I’m a person heavy into symbolism– and I do believe that at that time I had also put away a large part of myself. To stand out from others, even at my age, is tiring. It is exhausting to constantly fight just to be yourself.

My annual celebration of Dali week, of course seems silly to most and is strange indeed, but opening up old books and viewing art that takes my breath away reminds me why I’m alive. It is a very personal thing for me that I choose to share because I believe creativity and art is a gift to the world. We cheapen words with biased interpretations, we prostitute visual art to the highest bidder, and taint our music to feed the mindless masses. I don’t want to be told what to do, I just want to feel.

"Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms Skins of an Orchestra", 1936.

“Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms Skins of an Orchestra”, 1936.

Salvador Dali was able to transfer emotion onto the canvas. Most of my favorite pieces summon dark emotion in me…such as the melancholy that often comes with the desire to create. Dali was loved for his outrageous persona, and praised for his art but in the end was clearly misunderstood and written off as crazy by most. Which goes to show that sometimes people take from others what they want but often won’t accept or appreciate the whole.


“The Burning Giraffe”, 1937.

Through my obsessive love for Dali I’ve learned to appreciate it all. People will bleed you dry, extracting your talent from you and leaving your core to be eaten by the judgmental wolves that attack what they don’t understand. I have a fascination and love for Dali the artist, the madman, the elitist, the intellectual and it is a mirror for how I choose to love and accept others. This is what moves me.


“Sleep (Le Sommeil)”, 1937.

I celebrate Dali week each year to motivate others to find their own inspiration. Hold fast to whatever inspires you in the world of art and creativity. The world is damning enough and it’s totally ok to seek refuge and to be influenced by reality and people who are just as imperfect as you. It is ok to allow the creativity of others to be your life’s muse.

To my favorite muse, Señor Salvador Dalí, happy birthday.


“The Persistence of Memory”, 1931.


Dali Week, Reposts

Salvador Dali, 1904-1989.

Salvador Dali, 1904-1989.

For those that don’t know, Salvador Dali’s birthday is this Saturday. Last year around this time, I asked my friend, Naomi, to write a few posts about the artist she so dearly loves. If you missed it, are a huge Dali fan and need a fix, or just need some reading to get you through the day, I invite you to check out her spin on topics like sex and beauty with a key lime twist of Dali.

This weekend I’ll share a new musing by Naomi to celebrate the life of this ever eccentric artist. For now, please enjoy these posts from last year! Please don’t hesitate to comment.

In the Home
In Dreams

Naomi and Dali: The Craziest of These is Love

Salvador Dali and the love of his life, Gala

I didnt want to write about this topic because I didn’t think there would be a way for me to mask the tone of my heavy heart. However, this is my foundation and the very reason I was drawn to Dali in the first place. The intensity and the complexity of Dali’s relationship with Gala appealed to me initially because it was such a foreign concept. How could a man so full of greatness and charm allow himself to be brought to his knees for the love of this insignificant woman? It wasn’t until I experienced this kind of rare, all-consuming love for myself that I was able to come to more of an understanding of the dynamic of their relationship.

Toward the end of their lives together, Gala’s numerous affairs with younger men began to take their toll on the relationship. In addition, her gambling habits and generosity toward these men put a strain on the pockets as well. Even in her eighties, Gala showed a resentment toward growing older, creating yet more tension– enough that she was now giving her husband drugs that led to the eventual breakdown of his nervous system leaving him unable to paint. Eventually Gala moved alone into a castle Dali had built for her, unseen unless upon written request. Still, when Gala passed away, the elderly painter embarked on a downward spiral struggling with depression. There were even a series of freak “accidents” that hint of possible suicide attempts. With his muse forever gone, was there any reason left to live?

It is a beautiful thing to simply fall in love. It is quite another to find your reason to live. All control is lost as you allow yourself to be poisoned, broken and lost yet unashamed of your shameless weakness. In the end, the intensity of the obsession proves to be maddening and a certain pathway to your psychological demise. You have found in this person the perfect blend between reality and illusion, and you refuse to be awakened from this dreamlike state.  A glitch in the system has been discovered that allows you to somehow exist in this world and be able to escape to a parallel universe with this person. A utopia where each other’s flaws don’t exist and it doesn’t matter if this person is draining everything from your life’s force. In that world, dull moments are extinct and no tomorrows are the same. You have given in to complete insanity making the complexities of common love totally void. By giving in to this kind of love you have given in to destruction.

Memento mori, my friend! Destruction is inevitable. Endure the pain, suffer all consequences, and take all risks for a love most surreal. Drink heartily of the poison, and before you do, look your muse in the eyes and say “cheers”!

Naomi and Dali: Anticipation

The Great Masturbator, Salvador Dali. 1929

Talking about sex is either two things: icky or pornographic. I can sort of promise not to touch on either of those two but I am possibly the WORST person to speak on this topic because I think that sex is absolutely hilarious! However, I had a long talk with one of my classy friends about sex today and I think I got the worst of the 13 year old boy out of my system and I’m ready to be a big girl about this now.

So, why even discuss sex and sexuality as it relates to Dali? I mean, this is Salvador freakin’ Dali we’re talking about! The man embodies unbridled passion and hedonistic impulsiveness at its most clever. If you are bold enough to declare that you are drugs, doesn’t that make you sex and rock and roll, too? (Electric guitar solo) As it turns out…not so much -_-  There is a surprising cloud of mystery surrounding Dali’s sexual persona and from all that I’ve read it’s hard to gather what exactly was his deal. To sum it up the best way I know how: Dali was a bit weird about sex, almost to the point of neuroses. Many of his paintings during the time he met his wife, Gala, reveal a healthy sexual desire for her and in general, but also a suppressed fear of impotency.

The Accommodations of Desire, Salvador Dali. 1929

Because I just KNEW the sexual life of Dali was going to be wild and exciting, I found myself not really knowing what to do with this information. After giving it some thought (about 2 years of thought) I realized that perhaps I should go easy on my man. He lived in quite a different time and I could see how somewhere the ability to express himself through art and to express himself sexually perhaps crossed wires and possibly confused the man. I can see how difficult it would be having exposure to sexual freedom, having lived your repressed sexual desires out on canvas while in your mind developing a fear of the actual act itself. Then he meets the love of his life and the anticipation grows and the insanity festers until he almost completely breaks down.

In this day and age there is very little room for sexual thought driving us to near insanity. Sex is everywhere and I don’t care who you are: you are exposed. The value of sex has depreciated. We don’t take the time to let the anticipation of sex and intimacy build within us anymore. With pornography, phone sex, sexting– you name it– there is aways the opportunity for immediate release just around the corner. But before these tools Continue reading

Naomi and Dali: In Dreams

The First Days of Spring, Salvador Dali. 1929

The great, and most certainly controversial, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was undoubtedly a heavy influence on the Surrealist society.  Andre Breton (founder of the movement), Surrealist film director Luis Bunuel, and Salvador Dali were fascinated by Freud’s writings– the “Interpretation of Dreams” most specifically. The heartbeat of the entire movement became about the marrying of the conscious with the subconscious in order to create a new world of shocking imagery that brought dark secrets and perverse impulses to light. Through their art, the surrealists were able to create an indulgent world free of suppression and censor, and paved the way for artistic liberties we are able to enjoy today.

Shades of Night Descending, Salvador Dali. 1931

It’s difficult for me to articulate in words what the members of this movement were trying to convey through their respective films, poetry, and other arts. But I do know that I can track the progression of Dali’s work during this influential time and feel the difference. I can look at his paintings and see the metamorphosis  of reality and illusion blending  into one right before my eyes. I know nothing of shadowing, contouring, or [insert other technical phrase here], but I do know the feeling of goose bumps rising on my skin and the quickening of my heartbeat. I look at Dali’s paintings during this era, and the eerie tone captured produces Continue reading

Naomi and Dali: Beauty

Galarina, Salvador Dali. 1944-45

The world’s concept of beauty has become such a repellent to me now. As it turns out, it really weighs nothing in the grand scheme of things. Your fate supposedly lies in the eye of the beholder – a daring concept that allows strangers to have power over you and your self- esteem. It shouldn’t be so damned easy for us to put so much trust into people who barely know us. The cynic in me finds that even the simple observation of physical beauty has become a cop out. Verbalizing approval of someone’s looks has become a way of saying “I accept you,” and “I approve of you simply because I like the way you look.” And I don’t know about you, but once I’ve gained this level of approval without even trying, it makes me lazy. You don’t need to know anything else about me. You’ve given me the thumbs up without peeling back the layers and making sure I’m not completely spoiled and ugly underneath. 

The magnificent thing about Dali’s art, in my opinion, is that he was able to peel back gritty layers of ugly to reveal the overall beauty of whatever scenario or mood he was trying to capture. Along those lines, it seems to me his life was a true imitation of that particular art. As many of you may gasp to know, I find Dali’s relationship with his muse and wife Gala to be THE most fascinating mystery about a most fascinatingly mysterious man. On paper, this woman reads as an opportunistic older woman who abandoned her children to leach off the dreams of successful artists. She’s the equivalent of today’s gold digger with the addition of 10 years on her and not so much in the looks department. However, I replay in my mind how it could’ve gone down upon Salvador’s first sight of her. How, like a painting, he was most likely drawn to the concept of her– the outline of her– and the desire to expose her layers became a fascination. 

There she was. It didn’t matter all the negative things he had heard about her. It mattered less the age difference between them, and even less that she stood there married and on the arm of Paul Eluard. There she was. And maybe it wasn’t the brilliance of her smile, the glint in her eyes, or her demure manner as she spoke to guests at the party with ease and confidence.  It didn’t seem to be the thrill of the chase that moved him to declare that she was to be his wife. His artist’s rendering of her alone causes me to believe that it was perhaps the way her laugh lines framed her small mouth whenever she chose to speak. Or maybe he was entranced by the wideness of her forehead, the soft glow of red in her high cheekbones, or the deep set of her eyes. There she was… An obsession formed. What he saw before his eyes was something real, a beauty and likeness designed almost specifically for his Dalinian eyes. Dalinian eyes that fought through the fog of the opinion of others and through the obstacle of another man that claimed her attention to see this majestic being before him – there she was.

Buuuuut, that is all speculation on my part. I say all that to say that anyone can recognize the near perfect symmetry in a face and declare it optimum beauty. It takes a trained eye to look beyond a face and see the deep sadness in another’s eyes, to admire the furrow of a brow, the ruggedness of once delicate hands, or the quick flash of innocence in an expression. Flowers are pretty, and sunsets are magnificent, sunrises—even better! But what lies beyond…? To me, beauty should be seen as the entire journey of where an object originates to where it is now. The story should be whole and complete before anyone dare pass judgment on how they feel about the look of things. The heartbreaker that falls in love, the liar who tells the truth, the ignorant that opens the mind, the uninspired who finds a muse…the beauty is what is recognized after, and never before.