As I take a look back at all the exquisite paintings my Salvador painted of me, I realize more and more how much he truly cared for the small details that made me smile. As is widely known, thanks to his father, I am 10 years more “mature” than Dali, but if you were to compare all of his depictions of me throughout the 40? years that he painted them, you would notice he kindly showed me as the thought was most beautiful, and in doing such made me seem much more ageless and youthful than I truly looked in real life. Yes, my followers, even a gal as vain and beautiful as me will, one day, begin to age. I could not have asked for a more gentle and loving husband in this aspect, for when we were together he made me feel as young as the day we met. He understood that it was difficult to “get over the fact that time has touched [me],” and for his love and care, I adored him.
I am sorry to be posting late in this afternoon, but Gala has not been feeling too well this morning. You see, last night Salvador and I threw one of our surreal dinner parties at the castle, and I seem to have enjoyed myself too much.
Well, not too much, of course, just enough to require a slow and relaxing morning.
You see, when we Dalis host parties, you know we will not be serving a simple 3 course meal. Everything from our celebrity guests to the still living hors d’oeuvres is tres grandois.
Getting an invite is usually the hardest part, as only the surrealest of the surreals tend to be in attendance. If you’d like to get a taste, however, Gala can share a snippet of the only documented dinner party we’ve hosted (for good reason).
Take a peek here: http://youtu.be/vg6i4E0Woak
Any ideas for themes next time?
I must rest but do enjoy the movie,
As these hot days wear on, it is hard not to think of the days long ago when Dali and I had just met, surrounded by surrealists, in his hometown of Cadaques. I recall that at first, I thought him to be a very obnoxious creature, with his pomaded hair and elegance. That same night, however, I was proven wrong by the handsome young man while him and I walked, conversing together in the moonlight. Several nights later, we realized our intense connection the first time we touched. I took his hand in mine and because of his nervousness, he burst out laughing! I understood the exact meaning of this outburst, knew immediately the intense fanaticism that Dali felt towards me, and I said to him, “My little boy! We shall never leave each other.”
From then on I became his Gradiva, the heroine in his life who affected his psychological cure. I had come to destroy and annihilate his solitude while he brought me to my own equilibrium. We achieved this knowledge after our first kiss, during which we were so moved that I asked him to kill me and he agreed but after many hours dissecting ourselves together, we weaned each other from such a crime, and in turn cured each other of our madness.
My dearest friends, it is almost that time of year again, the season which brings us the pleasure of escape…
Along with occasionally smoldering heat, Summer also allows for the magnificent feeling of plunging into a deep pool of water and feeling your skin tingle and tighten delightfully. I have always loved the luxurious languidness that comes with the summertime, and at my castle in Pubol, I can escape from the world for months at a time. I remember the joy I felt when Dali first told me it was mine. I loved everything about it, even though at first glance it was somewhat run down. Tracing back to the 11th century, Dali and I wanted to ensure its romanticism remained intact, even after numerous repairs. Since then, I have spent many a Summer sunbathing along the poolside, spending long hours reading at the library, and simply getting lost in my thoughts while observing the view outside of my bedroom window to the courtyards. To me, it is a refuge, my own sacred ground in which to find myself and reach inner peace. Dali sometimes asks me what it is I spend my time doing, but has learned that I do not like to divulge my secrets. It is my slice of paradise, and privacy is of utmost importance to me. Its three stories house countless things of beauty, and, of course, a throne for its queen, Moi.
I always keep my promises when it suits me … and I promised to write more about the events surrounding our meeting with dear friends, Eleanor and Reynolds Morse.
We met for drinks at the Hotel St. Regis’ famous King Cole Bar (made famous because we frequented it, of course). Perhaps that relaxed environment was responsible for the tone the conversation soon took. Reynolds – whom we learned to love but hardly knew at the time – asked Salvador and I why we did not have children. My Darling then entertained us with a story of one of Picasso’s sons, who ran around the streets of Paris half-naked but for a loin cloth on which a death’s head was painted.
“If the son of a genius like Picasso was that crazy,” my dear Dali said, “imagine what a son of mine would be like.”
Despite our efforts, we learned a few things about the Morses. They had met only a year prior at an orchestra, in some place called Cleve-land. Reynolds was 28 years old and quite dashing. I admit were it not for the lack of another drink perhaps I would have sought to entertain him in a different manner. Eleanor was charming, and we discovered we had a lot in common, including our very petite dress size. I don’t make it a habit to befriend women – they are silly creatures – but Eleanor was everything I liked in a man: spirited, intelligent and strong.
As I mentioned, the Morses had already purchased artworks by my Darling, including Daddy Longlegs of the Evening – Hope! and The Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s Angelus. When we received Eleanor’s note requesting a meeting, we thought it might be the beginning of something unique. After all, they had clearly demonstrated great taste, they were young, and most importantly they had money – the perfect place to start any relationship, don’t you think?
Oh, and did I mention, just a few days after this cozy meeting the dear couple bought another work – Average Atmospherocephalic Bureaucrat in the Act of Milking a Cranial Harp. This looked like the beginning of a profitable friendship.
Today I want to talk about my name. Gala – simple, elegant, nearly a chant – the perfect counterpart to Dali.
Dali was never content with simplicity. His genius was to take the simple and make it complex. In his rather scintillating autobiography, The Secret Life, he lists his pet names for me:
“Gala, Galuchka, Gradiva . . . Olive (because of the shape of her face and the colour of her skin), Olivete, the Catalonian diminutive of Olive and its delirious derivatives, Olihuette, Orihuette, Buribetter … “
One of my favorite of these pet names is Lionete (Little Lion), coined by my Dali because I roar “like the MGM lion” when I get angry.
You may not know this, but Dali was not the one to first call me Gala – that credit goes to my first husband, Paul Eluard. The man was a great poet, and I think Gala becomes me.
My name also appears on many of Dalí’s works, such as Daddy Longlegs of the Evening – Hope!, signed with our combined names: Gala-Salvador Dalí. His art, his writings, and even buildings bear my name: Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln – Homage to Rothko (Second Version), Galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid (Homage to Crick and Watson), Les Diners de Gala (his famous gourmet cookbook), even The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation in Spain. I am worthy of a Foundation, don’t you think?
There is, however, one place my name has been used that I consider the absolute height of irony. The Dali Museum named its café after moi – Café Gala. I am willing to admit the name sounds delectable, but I barely know my way around a kitchen and certainly would not be caught dead making a bocadillo – a lowly sandwich! And yet, given any other name, would their food taste as fine?
Ah, New York in the fall. My thoughts always turn to the city this time of year.
We visited New York for the first time in November 1934 – Dali introduced the charming portrait of me with lamb chops on my shoulder at his second exhibition in New York. The press went wild over it, and of course the public did as well. No one can deny the power of raw meat.
At the Hotel St. Regis, we met a reporter from American Weekly who said Dali’s flair for publicity made the late P.T. Barnum look like an amateur. You can be sure that this was due in no small part to my influence. Talent without flair is like a single burning candle: warm, but forgettable. Throw some gasoline on it, and you will see something spectacular!
Oh, glamorous New York! There were parties all the time. Any time Gala and Dali were in town there would be parties. One fete stands out, hosted by our dear friends Caresse Crosby and Joella Levy: The Bal Onirique at the Coq Rouge. All of New York society turned out for it. There was even a two-page headline in the Sunday Mirror. To put it in terms you might understand, the headline is too long to tweet: “Mad ‘Dream Betrayal’ of New York Society at the Astounding Party to its Newest Idol. All-Time High in Gotham Smart Set’s Traditional Pursuit of New Thrills, No Matter How Crazy, is the Latest Cock-Eyed Rage for Salvador Dali, the ‘Super-Realist’ Who Paints His Nightmares Which Critics Applaud While Mortals Grow Dizzy.”
Indeed. My costume featured an elaborate headdress of a woman birthing a doll. I was quoted in the Mirror as saying, “It was an experiment to see how far New Yorkers would respond to a chance to express their own dreams. Only a dozen or two actually succeeded in this expression. The others may think they are expressing themselves, but, really, they have betrayed themselves.” I must admit I was too kind in my assessment.
Of course it was in New York, and at the St. Regis, where we met our cherished friends, Eleanor and Reynolds Morse. You should know them as the Founders of the Dali Museum in Florida. This was April 1943, just after the Morses purchased The Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s Angelus. They had such exquisite taste. We received a letter from them asking to meet, and I wrote back to darling Eleanor in French (we always spoke French together, mon cher).
We met at the King Cole bar at the St. Regis … and who could have predicted the far-reaching results of that meeting? But I grow bored sitting here reminiscing on things long passed. Perhaps I will continue this story on Thursday if the old ghosts of New York continue to haunt my mind.