In Paris of the late 1920's, Salvador Dali met Gala, a woman 11 years his senior, who was married to poet Paul Eluard a founder of the surrealist movement which Dali aligned with for a time. Dali was age 25 and Gala, 36, when they tied the knot in 1934. By all accounts they were a good match, strong-willed fixtures in each other's lives throughout 48 years together until her death, 5 years before his in 1989.
Masterful creative powerhouse and technologist, Dali fully embraced marketing and seemed to delight in playing with the media available at the time. They cut out the 'middlemen' as Gala was a tough negotiator and sales agent for the body of works he produced. With mutual inspiration and deep companionship intact, they lived apart together toward the end, each in their own museums in Spain which I hope to visit some day.
From their marriage until her death, Gala was Dali's one and only model and her likeness was incorporated into every one of Dali's paintings, according to our fine docent, an artist and retired art teacher herself. I learned this and more on a recent tour of the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, which sparked my thinking in all kinds of directions.
TheCoolist.com explores the museum for a telling interview with architect Yann Weymouth and museum director Dr. Hank Hine
Dali's art and life is on the way to becoming timeless. The way he lived and what he produced, from paintings to sculptures and fine jewelry are fresh and relevant as ever, retaining a mystery and complexity that beguiles today. The following are some observations all my own, and not definitive or backed up by extensive research though much continues to be written about Dali. His method of creativity works for me. He suggested one look hard at something, stare at it, until a new vision emerges.
1. Dali would have loved Instagram and would have been a You Tube superstar: Dali's flirtation with celebrity was intense. He may have been criticized for making television commercials, collaborating with fashion designers such as Elsa Schiaperelli, appearing on game shows and 'selling out.' While his interests were varied in true polymath fashion, his art did not suffer; rather it soared and he was quite prolific. Even now, the Dali in St. Petersburg is on the cutting edge reaching out to the public in unique ways such as yoga classes and family programs.
Politically incorrect as it may be, Dali did have a flare for showmanship.
2. Dali may have had no problem coming out as queer if he were alive today. Dali was very much married to a woman, Gala, who was said to be a home body while Dali loved the limelight and socializing with the high and mighty. Dali relished fueling rumors and speculation about his sexuality and romanticized liaisons with men such as noted poet Lorca which swirled before and since his death. At the end of the day, no one ever knows what goes on behind closed doors, including sometimes, the partners in question.
A message for all time stands: Being out of the closet is a preferred emotional and mental state of being. The fact that Dali was on the forefront of being 'out' may have actually freed and fueled his productivity as the two are bound up into one.
Dali and Lorca in their youth.
A great way to round out a perfect day in St. Pete was to visit the mature and lush tropical Sunken Gardens, a testament to one man's vision, another polymath master gardener who earned a living as a plumber and put his skills to work creating a system of fountains and waterfalls up to 15ft below street level in an otherwise urban setting. By day's end a visit to a Gulf Coast beach for a sunset will not disappoint. We chose Pass-A-Grille and a memorable waterfront dinner at Sea Critters Cafe.
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Tara Fass, LMFT #35078, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, California. She treats adults and couples dealing with a broad range of issues from navigating the legacy of divorce in one's life, to the quarter life crisis and conscious aging. Together we attempt to make meaning [...]