Discovering Salvador Dali

I discovered Salvador Dali one morning recently. I’d read that morning about his illustrations for Alice in Wonderland and was startled to see something entirely new to me.

The Surrealists had been a blip on my art history screen but Dali was different. He was a shudder. He wasn’t like the joyous expressionism of Helen Frankenthaler. He wasn’t like Francis Bacon, who at the extreme end of my artistic pantheon painted brooding existential and macabre portraits. Nor was he like Paul Klee, expressing his cerebral musicality through lyrical color and line.

No, Dali was an unholy Surrealist traipsing around in painterly time and space with his dripping watches. Not for me was Salvador Dali.

But then this moment came. And through the looking glass that day I saw his work differently. Saw it through a different lens. My aperture had opened wider and a new world flooded in. Like unexplored truth, lush blooms of gouache punctuated by dreamscape memories were made magic on Alice’s pages. Dali was borne to me.

So I ask you, when was the last time you saw something with completely fresh eyes? When did you open your aperture to let in more light? If you will look outside your storehouse of memories and ideas about what you already think, you will see things not as you always thought them to be. A world is waiting to be discovered. After all, I discovered Salvador Dali.