“Each morning when I awake, I experience a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dalí.”
Salvador Dalí, born as Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech, was born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain, and died January 23, 1989, also in Figueres, Spain. If he was nothing, if he had been forgotten completely, this is all we would know of him. But he was not nothing. And he cannot be forgotten.
Ever since he was a child, Dalí showed himself to be an extremely intellectual person and this did not change as he grew. If anything, it developed into a madness. He also showed an amazing gift for drawing, which resulted in his parents enrolling him in 1916 in the Colegio de Hermanos Maristas and the Instituto drawing school, located in Figueres, Spain.
The time in Dalí’s life that both desolated and pushed him was when his mother, Felipa, died in 1921 when he was only sixteen. He had lost his dear mother, and now feared that she would be forgotten. He realized that he could also be forgotten and vowed he would never be forgotten.
And he stayed true to that vow. Due to his various works, he is known throughout the world. He has painted famous pieces, such as The Persistence of Memory; written works, including The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí; and films, such as An Andalusian Dog.
But, it was his madness that brought him the most publicity and fame. Two famous quotes of his are: “There is only one difference between a madman and me. A madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad,” and “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”
So, was Salvador Dalí a genius? Was he mad? Was he on drugs? Was he actually a reincarnation of his brother who had died approximately nine months before him, and had gone by the same name? Was his obsession for Hitler unhealthy? One thing’s for sure: he and his works will not be forgotten.
Why is he so special that he won’t be forgotten? It’s just like Dalí said: “I have Dalinian thought: one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.” And, for his unmatchable, unique outrageousness, he will forever be remembered.