July 21, 2017

I intentionally wrote 2 posts about Salvador Dali today, and — surrealistically — he made a random appearance in a third post.

The 2 posts that are intentionally about him are "What could be more surrealistic than exhuming the surrealist?" and "His moustache is still intact, [like clock hands at] 10 past 10, just as he liked it. It’s a miracle."

Those 2 posts happened today as a result of a real-world event: The corpse of Salvador Dali was exhumed to cut out some body parts to test to determine whether he was the father of a woman who's seeking a chunk of his estate.

In between those 2 posts, there was a post that came into being solely because the word "instigator" popped up in conversation. (And it wasn't a conversation about Salvador Dali.) The word makes me want to hear the old song "Something in the Air," which begins with the line "Call out the instigators," which is the name of the post where I embedded the video. I had not watched the video all the way through, so I hadn't noticed what a commenter — Kassaar — pointed out: "Dali is in the Thunderclap Newman video... Coincidence?"

Let me clip out the precise point:

Either that's a coincidence or the awakened spirit of Salvador Dali is haunting me.

(Interesting lorgnette, by the way, with the handle in the center like a slingshot.)


Unknown said...

Strange synchronicity. It's a portent of doom.

buwaya said...

Somehow Dali does not strike me as a man who would make a good ghost.
Too material, oddly. Maybe because he stuck whatever was in his head into a painting or something.
No unfinished business.

Josephbleau said...

From friends in the mid-70's who attended the Chicago Art Institute instead of a good engineering school like me, I learned that LSD helped the artist to transition from realism to the abstract. Melting clocks can be thus understood, Dali was shown the way, C’est génial. Somehow I never contemplated Borel algebras, Poincaire mappings, and Banach measure spaces when tripping. I just said WOW.

Ann Althouse said...

The "melting clocks" were painted in 1931. Not really the LSD era.

madAsHell said...

Those lenses don't look appropriate for distance viewing. He was clowning.

madAsHell said...

Wasn't LSD created after WWII? I'm thinking 1948 at Sandoz Labs.

madAsHell said...

Yikes!! 1938, before the war.

Ann Althouse said...

Dali said "I don't do drugs. I am drugs."

I'm not seeing statements that he did drugs, in amongst the many very weird things that are said about him.

Josephbleau said...

Huxley wrote "Doors of Perception" about Mescaline in the early 50's Was mescaline available in the pre-war era? In the "whats your line" video we see a man who has clearly done a lot of drugs. Or the mental illness equivalent of the same.

Ann Althouse said...

The idea that LSD allows you to paint like that is absurd. LSD might trick you into thinking there's more going on in your painting than is really there, but it's not goung to give you access to genius like that. An awful lit of people take drugs. Where's all the art? Nowhere.

Unknown said...

Ha. Having commented as Guildofcannonballs I know that which of I speak.

We just drove past "Almost Heaven" in Southern Oregon after throwing Barney the ball in the ocean, when Stairway to ... came on the radio.

We felt as though we were of royal lineage.

And my little dog Barnett chased the ball through glorious redwoods too on Hwy 199.

Unknown said...

"Althouse said...
The idea that LSD allows you to paint like that is absurd. LSD might trick you into thinking there's more going on in your painting than is really there, but it's not goung to give you access to genius like that. An awful lit of people take drugs. Where's all the art? Nowhere."

My art is tricking folks into thinking my highly quotable and artisimal output ain't art. Watching them parrot me unwittingly makes worlds revolve.

And you can quote Guild on that.

Meade said...

Dali said "I don't do drugs. I am drugs."

I'm not a surrealist. I'm surreal.

Meade said...

There's a difference.

EMyrt said...

Ann, Ann, Ann,

Sometimes you are such a Boomer fuddy-duddy.

LSD inspired A LOT of art, all those Summer of Love black light posters and clothing (I recently saw the SF Summer of Love 50th anniversary exhibit at the DeYoung). And comix and album covers by the hundreds.

All that music: The Byrds, Blue Cheer (financed and managed by the famous acid chemist Owsley), Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, The Turtles.

And (wait for it).............Bob Dylan!

As an Acid Queen emerita, I can tell you that Chimes of Freedom and, of course, Hey Mr Spaceman, are primo LSD anthems. Not only was Dylan himself turned on, but many a passionate and far out discussion of Dylan songs and lyrics was fueled by acid. Some even wrote it down, in a genre of gonzo music criticism that includes acid-inspired writing from Ken Kesey, Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus and Sandy Pearlman.

I'm Myrt!

traditionalguy said...

Well hello, Dali. It's so nice to have you back where you belong.

EMyrt said...


Funny synchronicity to bring up the Chicago Art Institute. I'm a Chicago native, and back in the 1960s, I lived in the Land Beyond O'Hare. In the summer, my mom would let me take the commuter train by myself (I was 13) downtown to spend the entire day at the Art Institute.

I particularly loved Surrealism, and went to see the big retrospective they mounted. I already dug Dali, Tanguey and Magritte, and discovered DiChirico, Man Rey and more at the exhibit. The coolest work was not more of Dali's melted clocks, but a remounting of his Rainy Taxi, in which an early 20th Century European taxi was allowed to decay, filled with dirt and moss, and turned into a huge terrarium, with live snails creeping up the inside of the taxi windows. Since my science project the previous year was snails, I was utterly enchanted!

This explains why I decorated my first dorm room in tasteful Surrealism.

I'm Myrt

Josephbleau said...

LSD allows you to paint geometric grids sweeps and sparky highlights. Breathing wall and ceiling surfaces. Think Escher, but he was more mathematical than druggie. A type of art existed post acid that did not exist before.

Schorsch said...

More synchronicity: I just read this passage to my daughter last night, and had no idea what a lorgnette was:

He also pinned several jeweled brooches to Jack Pumpkinhead's red waistcoat, and attached a lorgnette, by means of a fine chain, to the neck of the Saw-Horse.
"It's very pretty," said the creature, regarding the lorgnette approvingly; "but what is it for?"
None of them could answer that question, however; so the Saw-Horse decided it was some rare decoration and became very fond of it.

- from _The Land of Oz_ by L. Frank Baum

DKWalser said...

Dali also made an appearance in your post on man hands. You used a Dali painting as an illustration in the post.