Dalí i Domènech, Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto (1904–1989) By Lantz, Andy
A revised and expanded version of this article is available here.
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech was a Spanish artist whose works and personal life were marked by grandiose eccentricity. Although best known for his paintings, Dalí also ventured into other areas of artistic expression, including cinema. In 1929, he collaborated with Luis Buñuel in writing and directing the short film Un chien andalou – a landmark of the Surrealist Movement that allowed him to explore his budding interest in psychoanalysis and anti-art. These same impetuses would lead to L’Age d’Or (1930), Dalí’s second and final collaboration with Buñuel before their friendship and creative partnership dissolved. Dalí embraced the vulgarity and naturalism of cinema and its potential to transform objects on screen through the use of visual tricks, especially the close-up, which enjoys its most exhaustive use in Impressions of Upper Mongolia – Homage to Raymond Roussel (1975). While most celebrated for his avant-garde film projects, Dalí also worked with such Hollywood regulars as the Marx Brothers, Walt Disney, and Alfred Hitchcock. More often than not, however, the potential of a good idea was undermined by Dalí’s fleeting ambitions and his inability to finalize ideas. Ultimately, Dalí only fully realized seven filmic projects during his lifetime.