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Art Anecdotes : Salvador Dali’s Cauliflower Theory

Through ART ANECDOTES, Art From Us brings you funny, heart-warming and sometimes heartbreaking stories that shape Artists and their work. Today we look at the story of “Absurdity & Salvador Dali”.

Art From Us and Divvya Nirula bring to you a curated collection of Art related events, from suspected murder, to love affairs, to grand theft and curious cases of creation through ART ANECDOTES. Join us on this fun-filled ride of exploring and reliving these art-tales.

They say every genius has a hint of madness. Creativity is born from unfiltered expression of the inner self. These statements are certainly true in the case of Salvador Dali.

Dali is one of the greatest artists of all time. And in saying this, we aren’t just referring to his magnificent Surrealist paintings. We are speaking of his persona and personality. Dali was known for his absurd and eccentric style. He loved being the centre of attention and made his presence felt – sometimes in the strangest ways.

Lecture at the Sorbonne

In 1955, Dali was scheduled to deliver a lecture at Sorbonne University in Paris. The topic was ‘Phenomenological Aspects of the Paranoiac Critical Method’. Through it, Dali would reveal insights on his method of creating Surrealist art.

Now, any other university lecturer might brush up on their presentation on the morning they’re scheduled to deliver it. But not Dali. Instead, on the day of the lecture the artist reached the Sorbonne in a white Rolls Royce. The car was filled to the roof with about 500 kg worth of cauliflowers. The cruciferous vegetable was a significant part of his presentation – as people would later discover.

During the lecture, Dali rested his elbows on the table. He firmly stated that he experienced emotions through his elbows. The Surrealist then went on to say :

“Everything departs from the rhinoceros horn! Everything departs from Jan Vermeer’s The Lacemaker! Everything ends up in the cauliflower!”

Absurd statements such as this one were what added to Dali’s eccentricity as a Surrealist.

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