Dali on display for devotees

The Hallucinogenic Toreador; Virgin Buggered By Her Own Chastity; Burning Giraffes and Telephones… These aren’t the ravings of a madman, but the titles of works by one of the towering artists of the 20th Century, Salvador Dali.

­A large-scale exhibition by the creator of “Self-Portrait with Raphaelesque Neck” has been unveiled at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, described as one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year.

It’s common knowledge that Dali was not against his works being replicated. What makes the current display stand out in comparison to exhibitions previously held in the Russian capital is that it features a selection of unique and original works by the surrealist artist.

The display brings together 90 graphic works, 25 paintings and an array of photographs borrowed from the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, regarded as being the largest surrealist “object” in the world.

The exhibition reflects all major periods Dali went through, from early artworks in search of a distinctive identity to the unconventional style he created and played with for the rest of his life – surrealism.  

”Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dali,” the Spanish guru of surrealism once shamelessly declared.

At the age of six, he wanted to be a cook. At seven, his role model was Napoleon. Hungry for surreal success, he chose to become an artist.

Inspired by his Russian wife Elena Diakonova, known as Gala, Dali’s ground-breaking and mind-blowing experiments with art merged reality and mysticism, illusions and sciences, abstract and traditional art.

Breaking taboos and conventions, the eccentric maestro was quoted as saying that there were moments in his life when he thought he was going to “die from an overdose of satisfaction.”

Dali eventually succumbed to heart failure at the age of 84, senile and not all there at all, having outlived his much older wife by seven years.

His portraits of her are among the masterpieces that will go on public display in Moscow on September 3.

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