Naomi and Dali 2013: Finding Your Muse

salvador-dali

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.

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“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_Salvador_Dali

“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

“The Persistence of Memory”, 1931.

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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.

Beauty
In the Home
In Dreams
Sex
Love

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: An Introduction

The Elephants, Salvador Dali. 1948

This week the worlds of the arts collide and the truly insane rejoice!

I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to guest blog on apurplepaintbrush.com to celebrate Dali week. I am a lover of the written word, I am a lover of Salvador Dali, I — insert dramatic pause here — am a lover of Traci Turner. Friends for 15 years and practically opposites in every way, we’ve found that our very own passion for our respective arts (my writing, her painting) has allowed us to connect with one another on levels that most people don’t care to explore these days :-/.

We live in this new world where it’s perfectly ok to use technology to shield others from who you really are. The core of a person can now be determined by the look of an Instagram photo or whack updates posted on Facebook. I hope that we can at least look inside ourselves and find that there is a lot more where that came from and who we truly are is not what we post. Maybe, in the rarest of moments we allow something to trigger spontaneity within us and reveal a glimpse of who we are at heart. The song that brings the wallflower onto the dance floor, the documentary that moves you to start a revolution, or even the beauty of a stranger’s mouth that triggers a wildly inappropriate fantasy. The question is: do we wish to allow our personalities to be auto-corrected into something more palatable for the masses? Or is it finally time to reveal the grit and insanity within and let the chips fall where they may?

This week, in honor of Salvador Dali, I hope to take you deep into yourself to extract the part of you all have yet to see. Dali has been dead for years but it is from his life that I have learned to pursue my art without censor or fear of judgement, to always say exactly what I mean, and to live life as if I am slowly going more insane with each passing day. Join me in the asylum, if only just for the week, and we’ll let go of our inhibitions and open our minds together….

Happy Dali week!!

Salvador Dali Week!

Salvador Dali (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989)

Something that I love to do is research some of the most famous and well-known artists to find out what really made them and their body of work so notable. Because honestly, by looking at some of their work alone, sometimes I just don’t get the big deal – and I studied art in school. Sorry, Art Historians. However, as I mature and my understanding of the art world deepens I have grown to approach this in a more open-minded way.

This Friday marks the birth of one of the most famous and provocative surrealist artists, Salvador Dali. No one has sparked my interest in this artist more than my best friend and aspiring writer, Naomi. It’s because of her that I actually am able to enjoy and understand Dali’s work now. So I’ve asked her to share her enthusiasm for this artist and his work as we go into what she lovingly calls “Dali Week”. She’ll be a special guest blogger this week on Purple Paintbrush, tying her posts to Dali each day leading up to his birthday this Friday.

So join us this week in celebrating Salvador Dali, by sharing your thoughts on Twitter using the tag #DaliWeek! We are @PurplPaintbrush and @SoftWatches. Can’t wait to hear from you!