Salvador Dalí was born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain.
Dalí was a leading proponent of Surrealism, the 20th century avant-garde movement that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious through strange, dream-like imagery. “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision,” he said.
Dalí is specially credited with the innovation of “paranoia-criticism,” a philosophy of art making he defined as “irrational understanding based on the interpretive-critical association of delirious phenomena.”
In addition to meticulously painting fantastic compositions, such as The Accommodations of Desire (1929) and the melting clocks in his famed The Persistence of Memory (1931), Dalí was a prolific writer and early filmmaker, and cultivated an eccentric public persona with his flamboyant moustache, pet ocelot, and outlandish behaviour and quips. “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure,” he once said.
“That of being Salvador Dalí.”
In 1965, he turned his hand to sculpture, contenting himself with repeating themes from his paintings: a Venus equipped with cupboard drawers, elephants with spiders' legs, soft watches, etc., worked in bronze or crystal.
Dalí passed away in January 1989 at the age of 84.