Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Addition: The Passions According to Dali.

Newly acquired by the SDBC Library:

The Passions According to Dali
by Louis Pauwels
with Salvador Dali
translated from the original French by Eleanor R. Morse (1985).

The origin of the monologues in this book are the recorded, edited, conversations between Pauwels and Dali circa 1966-1967.  Topics covered are: Gala, death, glory, gold, eroticism, monarchy, god and the angels, the railway station at Perpignan, etc. 

However, don't expect to learn too much about Dali's thoughts on these subjects directly.  As symbolic and subjective as Dali's graphic works are, his words are far more misdirected by symbolism, contradiction, and nonlinear logic.  In essence, Dali seems to apply his Paranoic-critical method to his spoken word just as freely as to his art.

For instance, the chapter on gold begins with Dali recounting his childhood practice of retaining his stools.  Apparently the subject of gold inspired in him a logical connection to something he valued as a child like a precious metal--his poop!

Well, I can't say that there were too many other gems in this book.  For the most part, it's just Dali on a soapbox, pontificating on any number of things that he loosely connects to the subject at hand.  Most of it seems more interesting to himself than to any other person in the world, but that sort of indulgent vanity has always been a characteristic of the self-proclaimed genius.

The main text is 162 pages and features a number of appendices which are largely superfluous, especially the few that are not written by, or about, Dali. 

This book is limited to 500 copies and is therefore extremely difficult to attain.  You can expect to pay $90 and up for a copy of this book which had a sticker price of $27.50 when it was published. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Addition: The Tragic Myth of Millet's Angelus.

After seeing this book referenced over the years in so many publications by/about Dali, I finally got a chance to delve into it for myself.

Anxious for the revelation of its contents, I raced through an initial reading of the book at lightning speed.  When finished, I had no idea what I had just read!  Nothing made any sense at all.  I figured I owed it to myself to give it another read.

The second time around things were clearer, but only to a point.  I think the difficulty with understanding this book is that Dali tries to present for objective scrutiny something that is so very personal and specific to only him.

Sure, one can glean from this book a basic understanding of Dali's paranoia-critical method.  However, one may not be able to follow the logic with which Dali connects various memories, visions, and experiences to Millet's Angelus.

I was able to follow some of the connections, but others were so loosely connected that I just couldn't follow the association.

I must say that I did come away with an understanding behind the existence of the twilight atmosphere in many of Dali's works, and I think I know why Dali paints so many desolate landscapes largely devoid of foliage.  Other than that, most of Dali's symbolism is largely personal to himself, and this book doesn't really clear up that issue.

The main text is 176 pages.  This is followed by a 30-page chapter titled The Myth of William Tell, which is simply Dali's story of his expulsion from the surrealist group, dated 1952.  Finally, two articles by Dali printed in the Minotaur (from 1933 and 1934 respectively) are reproduced here.

The second article is particularly outlandish in which Dali seems to compare the extraction of blackheads from one's nose (issue ... of our ... thick and personal "Time-Space") to, well, I'm really not sure what!  It seems like he is saying that all objects are foreign bodies of space.

Truly mind-blowing reading for sure, which leads me to exclaim that the only difference between Dali and LSD is that Dali was not on LSD!  Or was he?

This book is limited to 500 copies and is therefore extremely difficult to attain.  You can expect to pay $90 and up for a copy of this book which had a sticker price of $15.95 when it was published.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Medal: Antonio Pitxot Exposition, Teatro Museo Dali, Figueras 1974.

Always on the hunt for unique and affordable Dali collectibles, I have recently obtained this medal in an online auction. 

WOW!  I never saw anything like it.

On one side is a Antonio Pitxot nude woman sculpture in relief.  On the other side is a relief image of the Teatro Museo Dali in Figueras, Spain.

The medal is dated 1974 and is in excellent condition.  It's about 1.5" in diameter and quite hefty in weight.

So, where can you find one for your collection?  No clue!  I can't find any information about this medal on the internet or in any books in my collection. 

If the medal dates to 1974, then any information may be hard to find.  If you have any information to add, leave a comment to this post below.

(8/12/13 update: two recent sales suggest a value of about $40)