Dalí was a prolific artist all his life and the scope of this article is not to give a chronological recap of the artist’s life – this you can read on our Dalí Biography web page – but it is Dalí’s personality and interests, with special regards in later years of his life, at the time when this sculpture collection was created.
In the years after the Second World War Dalí stopped confining himself to painting and experimented with many new and unusual media. This period bore the hallmark of technical virtuosity and an intensifying interest in optical effects, science, and religion. Many of his works incorporated optical illusions, negative space, visual puns, and visual effects of distorted space. He created bulletist works, which is an artistic process that involves shooting ink at a blank piece of paper. Dalí also experimented with pointillism, enlarged half-tone dot grids (which Roy Lichtenstein would later use), and stereoscopic images. He was among the first artists to employ holography in an artistic manner. Young artists such as Andy Warhol proclaimed Dalí had an important influence on pop art.
Dalí was a very unique artist in every way, a one-of-a-kind thinker, innovator, even his choice of words was through and through Daliesque.
Reynolds Morse, Dalí’s patron quotes the artist when he remarked about his large canvases: “Now is necessary expline one other aspect of les masterworks. Quand myself am paint dees verks, is no one question of choice (choosing) one subject apres les udder. Is no one random apparition. On le contrary les masterworks is represent le ultimate manifestation of le Continuité Dalienne, parce que each is relate avec le udder, et each is involvéd some new discovery que y yam make”.
– Dalí – the Masterworks, vol. 3, by A. Reynolds Morse
Dalí also had a keen interest in natural science and mathematics. This is manifested in several of his paintings, notably from the 1950s, in which he painted his subjects as composed of rhinoceros horn shapes. According to Dalí, the rhinoceros horn signifies divine geometry because it grows in a logarithmic spiral. Dalí was also fascinated by DNA and the 4-dimensional cube and the quantum mechanics. He became an increasingly devout Catholic, while at the same time he had been inspired by the shock of Hiroshima and the dawning of the “atomic age”. Therefore Dalí labeled this period “Nuclear Mysticism.” Dalí sought to synthesize Christian iconography with images of material disintegration inspired by nuclear physics.
At some point, Dalí had a glass floor installed in a room near his studio. He made extensive use of it to study foreshortening, both from above and from below, incorporating dramatic perspectives of figures and objects into his paintings.