So, I recently managed to lose that pesky last few kilos (yayy!) and I have to admit, it hasn’t been easy keeping it off. I’m not into diets, as I believe the healthiest way to lose, and maintain weight, is to be is the way you can always be, and not search for a quick fix, only to go back to bad habits.
So I discovered what works for me, and I’ve been eating dinner off dessert plates or small side salad bowls for dinner, which has actually been pretty easy; throwing out extra food after serving, so I don’t go back for seconds, and to keep from snacking, I went from drinking lots of coffee, which gave me the jitters, to sucking on chupa chups!!
I know, I know…these balls of sweetness on a stick aren’t renowned for keeping your teeth in great shape, so I have one a day, or every second day. In all honesty, I don’t think it really helps alot, but it’s better than nothing.
But my latest effort got me thinking about the dude who designed the logo, and as someone who loves anything to do with product design & branding, I always remember Salvador Dali as the guy who designed the Chupa Chups logo above anything else he did. But I feel like if I were one of the most famed surrealist artists in the world I’d be pretty peeved if all anyone remembered me for was a side gig, designing a logo for a lollypop brand, even though it’s a pretty dope legacy.
I wikipedia-ed Dali, and it was a looong read, so I thought I’d break it down for you.
So, in a nutshell, who is this Salvador Dali guy?
Salvador Dali was born in 1904, nine months after his brother, also named Salvador, died, aged 3 years old.
Dali was raised by a strict father and a Mom who encouraged Salvador’s artistic endeavours. Throughout his life, and despite never meeting his brother, Salvador he felt a strong connection to him, often fantasizing him into his writing and art.
Dali’s Mom died of cancer when he was 16, and his father married her sister – Dali’s aunt. He was cool with this as he loved his aunt, and likely just wanted his dad to be happy. I’ve got a hunch there’s alot of kids who could learn from this guy.
Salvador didn’t just expect to be famous just because he was super talented. He studied art and studied it hard. From studying in his hometown of Figueres at the Municipal Drawing School from age 16 to the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Spain by the age of 18, he would spend Sundays at the Prado Museum, studying the works of the greats.
Around the same time, Dali was known to be eccentric and had a love of dressing in the style of Artistic Dress, he wore his hair long and had sideburns, and stood at 172cm tall.
Thanks to his uncle, Anselm Domènech, a bookshop owner, who gave him books about Cubism, Dali experimented with it, and as the only Cubist artist in Madrid at the time, he became known amongst his student peers for his take on it.
In 1926, Dali met – yes, met – Pablo Picasso, the Cubist of all Cubists. And get this, Picasso had already heard of Dali. Imagine that. I mean, back then, that would have been when you know you’ve made it s an artist. It’s like Leonardo DiCaprio knowing who you are if you’re on Neighbours. Kind of…?
Ok, so Dali left the Royal Academy in 1926, not long before his final exams. He was already obviously too talented to need to go on, as evidenced by his Basket of Bread painting, which looks way too real, especially for it’s time.
After this, Dali really got into Surrealism, and some of his work was pretty disturbing and controversial. This painting was rejected for being too sexual, but I can’t see it… I also can’t see how this one earned the name ‘The Great Masturbator’, so despite my love of creative branding and product design, maybe I’m just daft with art interpretation.
In the mid-1920’s, he grew what was to eventually be formed into his flamboyant signature moustache. if there’s one thing I picture when I think of Dali, his stache forms in my brain, then his face.
In 1929, Dali expanded his talents into helping to write a script for a short film, Un Chien Andalou. That year, he also met his lifelong muse, and wife, Gala, who was 10 years older than him, and, possibly inspired by her, joined the Surrealist group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris. I don’t know about you, but when I think of them, I imagine this group as the artists version of the Rat Pack.
Dali’s Dad wasn’t a fan of Gala, nor his involvement with the Surrealist group, as he felt it was out of line with his morals. After a pretty offensive inscription about spitting on his mothers portrait, that he placed under a drawing he did of Jesus Christ, his dad demanded a public recant, which Salvador refused. They stopped talking for a bit, with his Dad giving in some years later.
In 1931, Dali painted one of his most famous, and one of my fave paintings, The Persistence of Memory. (you’ll know it when you see it…).
Dali gained notoriety for his eccentricities everywhere he went. Whether he was delivering a lecture titled Fantômes paranoiaques authentiques at the London International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936, wearing a deep-sea diving suit & helmet or a glass case on his chest containing a brassiere at a 1934 farewell party thrown in his honor by the actual brassiere inventor, Caresse Crosby, after ending his visit to the USA, he wasn’t attention shy.
In March 1938, Dali unveiled a three dimensional piece of art, called Rainy Taxi, which is so hard to explain without having a visual to put it together, so to save you googling it, here’s a link. That same year, he met Sigmund Freud. When Dali heard that Freud – his hero, who was 82 at the time – had confided to others: “this boy looks like a fanatic”, he was delighted.
In September 1938, he chilled out at the one and only Coco Chanels place on the French Riviera, where he painted several painting he later exhibited back in New York.
In May 1939, he was renounced publicly from the Surrealist group, for his different views.
From 1940 – during World War II – Dali and Gala lived in the USA for the next 8 years. He spent the Winter of 1940-41 at Caresse Crosby’s place in Virginia, painting for an upcoming exhibition and penning his autobiography. Upon the books release in October 1942, Time magazine’s reviewer called it “one of the most irresistible books of the year”.
Never one to hide from controversy, Dalí announced the death of the Surrealist movement and the return of classicism in his exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in April–May 1941. But most critics didn’t see a difference in his work and sales kinda sucked. Hey, even Leo has had a bad movie (sorry mate…my man & I couldn’t even make it 10 minutes into J Edgar, but we still love you).
During his stint in the States in these war years, Dali dabbled in various projects, from designing costumes for ballets, including Labyrinth (1942) and Mad Tristan (1944) to creating the dream sequence in Hitchcock’s Spellbound. He even produced art and designs for products like perfumes, cosmetics, hosiery and ties
In 1948, Dali and Gala moved back to Spain, where they would spend the majority of the next 30 years, with Winters in Paris and New York. You know, just another day….
Dalí’s decision to live in Spain under Francisco Franco and his public support for the regime prompted outrage from many anti-Francoist artists and intellectuals. Pablo Picasso refused to mention Dalí’s name or acknowledge his existence for the rest of his life. I mean, politics aside, to be important enough for Picasso to even care this much, even negatively, is pretty cool if you ask me.
Times never change. Just like Meghan’s sister released a book about her after she married a prince (or was it before?), Dali’s sister released a book, Salvador Dalí Seen by his Sister, in December 1949. This made Dali mad and he broke his family off. When his Dad died in 1950, Dali was left nothing, and had to fight for two years to get his own artwork back from his family home.
Dali embraced Catholicism and this was depicted in alot of his works.
In Dali’s later year, younger artists like Andy Warhol would credit him for being an important influence on art.
Most of us imagine slowing down by the time we’re 56, but in 1960, Dali, being Dali, began working on his biggest project yet – a Theatre-Museum (below) in his home town of Figueres. It was his main focus up to 1974, when it opened.
Apart from the odd job here and there, it seems. It was in 1969 that he designed the iconic Chupa Chups logo.
And I got impatient when I had to wait 3 weeks for our new bathroom to get done…
Gala was Dali’s business manager, and kept them afloat, despite their extravagant lifestyle. They married in 1934 and again in 1958. But both had affairs, so it’s not as romantic as it seems. It seemed to work for them though, as they remained married over 50 years, right up until Gala’s death in 1982.
But get this: in 1968, Salvador bought Gala a castle. A freaking castle. Even so, Dali wasn’t allowed to visit her without written permission when she escaped there for weeks at a time. Ummm…..give me a castle, and you can be handcuffed to me 24/7 for all l care. But anyways….this feeling of abandonment caused Dali to become depressed and his health declined. By the time he was 76 in 1980, he was being treated for depression, drug addiction and a severe tremor in his right arm. Gala was also accused of supplying Dalí with pharmaceuticals that were prescribed to her.
As mentioned, Gala died in 1982, and was entombed at the castle. Dali moved into the castle after her death.
The same year, Dali was given the title of Marqués de Dalí de Púbol (Marquess of Dalí of Púbol), by King Juan Carlos . The title was supposed to be hereditary, but Dalí had this changed to his life only, in 1983.
Dali’s last known painting, The Swallows Tail, was released in 1983. Some critics wondered how he could have done such precise work with his severe arm tremor.
From 1984 Dali become severely depressed and refused food and became severely undernourished. In August, he was hospitalized with severe burns from a fire that broke out in his bedroom. After his release, he moved to the Torre Galatea, an annex to the Dalí Theatre-Museum.
Dalí had a pacemaker implanted in July 1986. In a public appearance on his return home, he said: “When you are a genius, you do not have the right to die, because we are necessary for the progress of humanity”. Modest man.
By November 1988, Dalí was back in hospital, this time with heart failure. On 5 December, King Juan Carlos paid him a visit, and confessed that he had always been a serious devotee of Dalí. Dalí gave the king a drawing, Head of Europa, which turned out to be his final drawing.
Dali died on January 23, 1989, of heart failure. He was 84 years old. He was buried in the crypt below the stage of his Theatre-Museum, which is across the street from the Church of Sant Pere, where he had his baptism, first communion, and funeral, and is only 450 metres from the house where he was born. He was exhumed in 2017 for his DNA, due to a paternity claim, which proved that the claimant wasn’t related, but he’s back in the crypt now.
Oh, and don’t even bother trying to sell what you believe to be a genuine Dali to an art dealer. There are allegations that guardians forced Dalí to sign blank canvases that could later be used in forgeries. It’s also said that he intentionally sold over 50,000 otherwise-blank lithograph paper which he had signed, from 1965 until his death. Therefore, art dealers tend to be wary of late graphic works attributed to Dalí.