Read The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí by Ian Gibson Online


Drawing on extensive original research and recently discovered sources, Ian Gibson presents a daringly original portrait of one of this century's most celebrated—and infamous—artists. He provides a full narrative of Dalí's life as artist and as uninhibited exhibitionist, from his wild and troubled youth through his often rollickingly funny adventures in Paris, New York, anDrawing on extensive original research and recently discovered sources, Ian Gibson presents a daringly original portrait of one of this century's most celebrated—and infamous—artists. He provides a full narrative of Dalí's life as artist and as uninhibited exhibitionist, from his wild and troubled youth through his often rollickingly funny adventures in Paris, New York, and Hollywood to his poignant last years. Here is Dalí fully revealed through his voluminous correspondence; his novel, poems, and essays; and interviews with some of those closest to him. The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí reexamines the roles of the two most important individuals in the artist's life: the Spanish playwright and author Federico García Lorca and the enigmatic, libidinous Gala, the Russian émigré whose marriage Dalí broke up and with whom he subsequently lived in unconsummated bliss and terror. This is a truly incandescent life of the surrealist artist who caught the imagination of the twentieth century....

Title : The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí
Author :
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ISBN : 9780393046243
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 800 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí Reviews

  • Mikey B.
    2019-06-17 07:20

    “There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.” Salvador DaliTo speak in today’s parlance – “this is one weird dude”. This is a marvelous tale capturing the eclectic Dali in all his manic ways.With Dali everything was on the table; he was a living shock and awe.Here are some of the titles of his paintings:The Profanation of the HostThe Great MasturbatorSoft Construction with Boiled BeansThe Great ParanoiacYoung Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own ChastityAutumn Cannibalism The Lugubrious Game 44.4 x 30.3 cmSoft Construction with Boiled Beans 100 x 99 cmAt a surrealist lecture in London in 1936 he showed up dressed in a diving suit.I learnt the meaning of the word “coprophagia”.As a painter Dali is second to none for uniqueness – at least in the twentieth century – for the melange of themes, the intricate details. The technical features of his work are to behold.Some of his paintings are quite small. “The Persistence of Memory” is only 24 x 33 cm. In the latter half of his life some of his canvases were much larger – somewhat like his lifestyle which became more and more grandiose.There is so much scattered detail in his paintings it becomes difficult to know where to apply your focus.The author takes us through the major influences on Dali’s life. Ultimately Dali’s paintings all reflect the landscape where he was brought up in Spain – in the Cadaques region. He lived significant periods of his life in France (mostly Paris) and in the U.S. (during the Second World War) – but you would not know this from his paintings.In fact his paintings are all about his inward turmoil. Seldom have I seen an artist whose works are so self-centred. It is a constant psychological journey through the inner recesses of his mind. Part of the great beauty is that I don’t think Dali himself knew what to make of his paintings.Dali went to art school and was highly influenced by the anarchic lifestyles of Federico Garcia Lorca and Luis Bunuel. Lorca was a multi-talented singer-writer-poet who was also gay, not something that was easy in Spain during the 1920’s. Dali never got over the tragic murder of Lorca in 1936 by the right-wing nationalists during the Civil War in Spain. Bunuel was a film-maker – and Dali actively participated with him in the making of two films, L’Age d’Or and Un Chien Andalou; which to this day are still considered controversial and avant garde. In many ways these two men prompted Dali out of his shell and placed him in the fore-front of the surrealistic art world.Surrealism during the 1920’s and 1930’s was seen as a way of life –not just an art form. It was highly influenced by Freud, and Dali himself thought the world of Freud. Surrealism, through its’ purported leader, Andre Breton, was linked to the working class and Marxist-Leninism. Dali started breaking away from this viewpoint in the 1930’s when Civil War broke out in Spain – and Dali refused to support the communist backed Republicans. I disagree with the author that Dali betrayed Breton along with the surrealist movement. Dali adhered to no group or movement. Breton could believe that surrealism and communism were out to save mankind. Dali only believed in himself, besides he was starting to be recognized as a major artist and to make money.The other major influence (actually more of a force) on Dali’s life was when he met Gala in 1930, who at that time was married to Paul Eluard. Dali and Gala commenced an affair and to the extent that it was possible, Gala liberated Dali from his sexual inhibitions, his sexual shame and some of his other phobias. Gala was a “liberated woman” who would walk topless on the beaches near Dali’s family compound in Spain – causing much gazing and consternation among the locals. Dali venerated Gala and eventually they married after Paul Eluard died in 1952.Galarina 64.1 x 50.2 cmThe Spectre of Sex Appeal 18 x 14 cmAs Dali aged, and Spain reverted to an autocratic government, Dali professed his Catholicism. This seemed about as sincere as his worshipping of the working class communists during his youthful 1920’s.Page 581 (my book) When Dali was released from hospital in 1980 he said to a gathering of journalists:“that [he] was no longer afraid of dying because he had discovered to his relief that God was tiny.”Dali was a megalomaniac. In his writings he would refer to himself in the third person as in “Dali has said...”.One of his books was called “Diary of a Genius”. The author quotes frequently from Dali’s books and journals, which are passionate and impressive – and also manic. Dali exuded a charisma to all around him and attracted an entourage of followers. Except for the last years of his life he worked constantly, but started many projects that went nowhere.This is stupendous and detailed biography of a major force in twentieth century art.Page 415: Peyton Boswell in Art DigestDali was 20,000 volts of uninhibited energy. His is a diseased, sadistic, nihilistic art expression, but undeniably it has the hypnotic gift of exciting even those who are surfeited with the acres and acres of canvases...Dali’s is a voice of his time... incongruous juxtapositions of familiar objects.Illumined Pleasures 24 x 34.5 cm

  • Esperanza
    2019-06-22 08:04

    What struck me was how misogynistic, biphobic and transphobic this book is. Gala, of course, presented as not more than a cruel, unlikable hag with dollar signs in her eyes (that already is a big tradition for Dali's biographies; what authors often forget to mention is that Dali himself was no less of a cruel, unlikable jerk with dollar signs in his eyes, so they were quite a couple); Dali's bisexuality, in really weird manner, gets both erased and overblown. No B-word is said, of course (again, quite a tradition: biographers don't shut up about Dali's "homosexual leanings", but it seems someone cut out the articles about bisexuality from all their dictionaries), but Gibson certainly implies that for him, attraction to men could be "the real one", while simultaneously denying him any affairs with men - which, according to many accounts, are likely to have taken place. Of course, Lorca was the one and only twu wuv of his life (I wonder: if a guy at the young age had had relationship with a charming poetess that didn't work out, and then had been in relationship with a man that lasted more than half a century, how many people would claim that the first relationship were his "true and only" love? Also, nice exploitation of the "one and only twu luv" trope I personally hate). But worst of all is Gibson's treatment of Amanda Lear. He goes to great lengths to prove her transsexuality, and this in spite the fact she never came out, denying that she was transsexual and clearly not being comfortable with the subject. Granted, it wasn't Gibson who outed her - it was April Ashley, English model who was her friend - but in the light of Lear's attitude to her outing it's highly unethical of Gibson to do what he does. His motivation doesn't improve anything either - the reasons he's trying so hard to prove that Lear is transsexual are related with Dali's "homosexual leanings". You see, if Lear had a sex change, it means she "used to be a man". If she "used to be a man", than Dali's interest in her is motivated by this fact and this fact alone. If it's motivated by this fact, it means her transsexuality helps to prove Dali was "homosexual", because that's how men attracted to both men an women are called. If I'm not mistaken, Gibson's desire to prove that is so ardent that he and Lear even met in some Spanish TV program and had a conflict over this subject.I have no much to say about the rest of the book. Gibson worked hard and certainly put a lot of effort in it. He goes overboard with Freudian interpretations, which are justified at the case of paintings' meanings, considering that Dali was a big fan of Freud, but not at the case of Dali's life, considering that Freud was a crank and his ideas have little application to the psychology. But the main problem is that the book is tedious, passionless and hostile. Gibson doesn't like Dali, plain and simple. He also appears not to be interested in him that much, with the exception of his relationship with Lorca, the main subject of Gibson's interest. The whole book feels like a chore, made by hard-working, responsible man, but a chore nevertheless. I heard Gibson wrote it for money, and maybe for fame, since Dali is much more famous than Lorca (and indeed, this is one of his most famous, most published and translated books). If so, he shouldn't have. Bios written without a spark are the worst.

  • Gary Daly
    2019-06-06 11:08

    I'd been searching for a detailed biography of Salvador Dali on and off for years and finally stumbled on this one. I wanted to try and understand what made Dali tick as an artist and author Ian Gibson has done a masterful job in linking Dali's life and his art in a way that makes so much sense. While I can't say I will ever truly understand Dali's art, I feel I have a far better understanding than before.This book is impressively well researched and beautifully written. Despite it's length (and studying for my final exams) I read this book in less than two weeks. Excellent jobs.

  •  ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
    2019-06-01 10:14

    So far this book is great.. I remember hearing a little bit about Salvador in High School but not much. I was always interested in him due to some of his work that I've seen.Finished it!!! Salvador was certainly a character! But That's what made him beautiful. U can't love people in slices ya know?

  • Nicola
    2019-06-13 07:57

    I'm totally lying when I say I've read this book. I didn't: I read maybe half of it, skimmed some more and then gave up. It's REALLY LONG. Clearly a labour of love, Gibson has researched every aspect of Dali's life (wanna know about Dali's grandfather? good, 'cause that's in there!). However, unless you're an academic or vry srs reader, you'll probably find yourself yearning for a bit of précis.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-19 12:17

    Excellent. Fascinating...a compulsive read. What a strange and brilliant artist! and how much Gala helped him reach the public.. .One cannot underestimate her role in his life and work.

  • Diego Cascón
    2019-05-28 07:03

    Una obra monumental, una biografía definitiva de un personaje más excéntrico que genial. Como el propio Gibson indica en el epílogo el libro dedicada dos terceras partes a los primeros treinta y seis años de vida del autor, esto es a la época que como artista tiene realmente interés: la infancia y juventud, la vida en Madrid y en la Residencia de estudiantes, París y el grupo surrealista. Este tipo de obras son pura erudición, buen relato y estudio de las fuentes hasta el más mínimo detalle, típicos de la literatura anglosajona como puede ser la biografía de Joyce de Richard Ellmann entre otras.Lógicamente, es un trabajo biográfico más que artístico y en caso de querer profundizar sobre la obra y no tanto en la vida del autor (a partir del año 40 no de gran interés) hay que recurrir a otras fuentes y estudios concretos. En particular, para ampliar y contextualizar con la obra de los otros miembros del surrealismo. Es quizás esa parte la más débil del libro, pero en cualquier caso hay que recordar que es una biografía y no un estudio formal de la obra artística de Dalí.

  • Scott
    2019-06-12 11:57

    A wonderfully-crafted, in-depth account of the life of Salvador Dali and his work.This includes incredible insight to his life and his inspirations for his art.

  • Cris
    2019-06-16 07:59

    This book is ok if you are looking to connect the dots of the 19th century art and literary world (and have a strong stomach), however it could have been done tastefully in about half the pages. The analysis of the art is zilch, so don't look for any. The extended details of Dali's sexual obsessions were grossly unnecessary for Gibson's points. (Yes, Dali was afraid of sex. Next!) There are interesting conversations with his would-be lover, the poet Federico Lorca (who was smarter than Dali by a mile) and collaborator Luis Buñuel among others. Gibson seems to propose that Dali's showy personality was a result of not being allowed to be reticent by his father and the macho Catalonian society, but I don't think he explains this well. Dali's claim to be a mystic like John of the Cross (making beautiful paintings of his drawings) had me smiling as did the stories of him wearing a diving suit to an exhibit. Gibson's best known work is the other half of the Lorca-Dali tale, Lorca. I think I'll pass on that one.

  • Al
    2019-06-23 07:17

    Detallada biografia del pintor surrealista. Dels seus inicis com a adolescent introvertit i tímid que ben aviat començà a destacar pel seu afany creatiu, de la seva estada a una residència d'estudiants a Madrid, on va conèixer Lorca (precisament el gran poeta andalús que va dir que Dalí tenia el millor cul del món) i Buñuel, amb els quals jugaven a espantar les noies boniques que passaven pels carrers madrilenys de principis de segle, de com Dalí va trencar les relacions amb la seva família i, sobretot, amb el seu pare, de com va anar adoptant Cadaqués i voltants com a font d'inspiració, de com va conèixer la russa benestant que parlava francès i que va ajudar a superar els traumes sexuals, la Gala, de com va guanyar-se la popularitat mundial a París i New York, de la seva afició al voyeurisme i als nois efeminats (sobretot Carlos Lozano), de la seva afició a teatralitzar qualsevol acte públic, fins la seva mort. El llibre és llarg (més de set-centes pàgines) però les frases són ben construïdes i la lectura resulta agradable.

  • Rocio
    2019-06-16 08:08

    A nadie sorprenderían realmente las extravagancias, rarezas y poco usuales aficiones de Salvador Dalí, crees que has leído lo habido y por haber de uno de tus pintores favoritos cuando llega Ian Gibson y zas! Gibson presenta un Dalí retorcido, difícil, creativo hasta el extremo pero obsesionado con ir escalando posiciones en la sociedad española, francesa e incluso norteamericana. Un Dalí amante del dinero sin escrúpulos a veces y siempre cegado por un deseo sexual insaciable y frustrado, a menudo digno de un profundo estudio psiquiátrico.Se trata de la autobiografía más detallada y bien argumentada que cualquier lector pudiera imaginar, lo que la hace sumamente interesante aunque cueste terminar algunos pasajes debido a la marabunda de nombres y lugares que el autor cita.Una pieza fundamental para estudiantes de la obra daliniana y el arte contemporáneo en general.

  • Aida Ghazar
    2019-06-04 12:06

    It was very informative and interesting ,gave a profile idea about the painter and his era ,unfortunately after commercializing himself Dali was nicknamed"Avida Dollar"I began to see his paintings and grasp their meanings more vividly,thanks to Ian Gibson,

  • Ohloraiadoreya
    2019-06-22 14:00

    Totally in-depth review of the artist life from childhood through death. Very insightfull look at a hard-to-know artist.

  • Carbono14
    2019-06-03 13:12

    Desenmascaramiento del gran fantasma que fue Dalí.