I wanted to go to the zoo that morning as the sun was out after a chilling day the day before. Then an almost too familiar signature appeared right before my eyes and I must have jumped for joy that very instant when I recognized that it was Dali’s signature on the posters erected everywhere in the park. Dali, Salvador Dali, my most favourite artist of all. I could still rememeber how my art teacher had teased me of a morbid theme I had for my woodcut print as inspired by him, but ended up giving me his biography before I graduated from senior high school.
The many evenings spent peering through the windows of our art room reeked with smell of paint, dreaming of a cloudy blue day as in Dali’s dreamscape canvas. His employment of many a symbolic elephants with extended legs or giraffees with disected bodies turned into drawers always appear in my day dreams. And the quintessential eggs(sometimes half-boiled) not only make appearance in his work but also in his castle-like house. I have a whole collection of his books, posters and some tapes leading to his death. Still, that was my first meeting with Dali’s works and it was just such a pity that I didn’t get to see the canvas on The Premonition of War or the Persistence of Memory.
In truth, I was in love with Dali’s surrealistic expression as well as his quirky traits. I love reading about how he would think of his life as some sort of a continuation of his late brother, and of course his love interest-Gala Eluard. Perhaps the scandalous affinity between the two have sparked more curiosity and beauty in a way since Gala was already married to a poet when they met. Nonetheless, the couple became inseparable till death do them part if I remembered correctly. Yet, a senior recently told me how frivolous Dali was and that he was never quite the person I made him up to be in my own free will. Maybe she is right, but looking at the numerous paintings he did on Gala, I am sure she’s been a seed that could only grow bigger the moment their paths crossed.