La jeunesse

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.

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Portrait of moi

Sometimes Gala likes to arrive fashionably late.

The only thing better than having a museum dedicated to one’s favorite artist is being the top model for that artist, and seeing oneself at every turn. The topic of today’s post is one I will explore many times – myself. More specifically, paintings that feature moi.

So as not to overwhelm you, dear readers, this occasional series shall begin with analysis of a small work called Portrait of Gala. Never fear – I will work my way up through future installments to explore Galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid, a large masterwork whose title alone is priceless.

Salvador Dali, Portrait of Gala (1932-33) In the USA © Salvador Dali Museum, Inc. St. Petersburg, Florida, 2011 Worldwide rights © Salvador Dalí. Fundación Gala-Salvador Dali (Artists Rights Society) 2011

Meanwhile, Portrait of Gala, though smaller than a postcard, is a work of pure genius. If you have only glimpsed it on the so-called ‘web,’ or reproduced in a book, you are missing the true power of the art. Unless you have come to see it in person, you might as well look at a photograph of the Louvre and imagine you know all the works hidden inside.

I am usually the only authority I ever need consult on my husband’s work. However, in this case it felt natural and appropriate to hear what others have to say.  Gala can approach humility, when necessary. In this instance I quote from the words of Robert Lubar, who has written most brilliantly the following:

“In Portrait of Gala, the artist’s muse appears as the all-powerful phallic mother, commanding the foreground space of the tiny oil painting in front of a brilliantly illuminated olive tree, which, like the burning bush of biblical narrative, suggests the force of Gala’s presence. “

 

While I do not disagree, I sometimes wonder where critics derive these ideas and associations. But I digress. Again, I will remind you that this “phallic mother / burning bush” is conveyed within a work measuring a scant 2 5/8 inches by 3 7/16 inches.

It cannot be contested. Dali is genius.