Gala Salvador Dalí

 "If there were 2,000 Picassos, 30 Dalís, 50 Einsteins, then the world would be practically uninhabitable. But let no one be frightened, there are none." 

    Photo: Castle Fine Art

This is how Salvador Dalí begins one of his most famous interviews, the one he did for RTVE on the program "A fondo". One of the many funny, surreal, wonderful, weird phrases he said during his lifetime. And it is that Dalí was all that, and more, at the same time. Everyone remembers him for his works and his image. But who was he really? Was he a character or did he certainly think everything he said?

He was controversialadjectives such as neurotic and egocentric have been used by both critics and the public receiving his work. But also undeniable is his artistic quality, his influence on contemporary and later artists and his genius in representing a world of fantasy and dreams (or nightmares). From an early age, Dalí possessed an incredible imagination and dexterity that would reach its peak in 1929. During this time he created a large number of works, including his most imaginative pieces: Persistence. of memory , Fall cannibalismThe dreamDream caused by the flight of a bee around a grenade a second before waking up… And so many others. Many authors have written about him and his works, many have admired him, others have hated him or simply ignored him. But there was one person who was crucial and basic in her life: Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, better known as Gala. Today, almost everyone who knows the painter will also know this name: Gala, Dalí's muse and wife. But she was so much more. A woman from Kazan (Russia) who survived the death of her father and tuberculosis, who stood out for her intelligence and was immediately attracted to the world of poetry and surrealism. It was in this environment that she met the poet Paul Éluard - her real name was Eugène Grindel - whom she married. Completely at ease and identified with this new artistic current, she had a great friendship with André Breton, the poets René Crevel and René Char and also a love affair with Marx Ernst.

She is already a woman who knows this world very well and, therefore, her market when she meets Salvador Dalí. Interestingly, they are known in 1929, the year in which the most creative and imaginative stage of the painter begins, was it by chance or under the influence of Gala? It is said that he fell in love with her immediately and that, from that moment on, they were together all their lives. The two biographies come together from that summer in Cadaqués, when Dalí invited some of the attendees to the presentation of Un chien andalou. Among them were Gala and her husband, the poet Paul Éluard.

That Dalí was absolutely in love with Gala and that he was inspired by her is a fact; he himself explains it in his work La Vida Secreta by Salvador Dalí, but she was also a businesswoman, charismatic and an artist. She grew up among books and immediately excelled in poetry, was a model of Man Ray, inspired and a pillar by the poet Robert Desnos, confidant of René Crevel, the merchantby Giorgio de Chirico… She needed an environment that would help her grow in all these aspects, she could not remain just the wife of the poet Éluard. With Dalí he found an ideal space for creation and reflection, so much so that it is well known that Gala was part of the creative process of Dalí's works. This relationship reached its culmination with the firm Gala Salvador Dalí which is in the most valuable works and loved by both.

If this signature is the paradigm of the artistic team they created, the Castell de Púbol is a sign of the great admiration that the painter felt for the versatile Gala. Dalí gives her this space only for her - he could only enter by invitation - and her creation, a necessary space in a context where female artistic and intellectual development was very difficult. A space of solitude that Gala needed, even though she only spent three weeks a year there.

The figure of this woman is still a space for research. Few people knew her well and history has left her in the background. There are, however, some witnesses who knew her and none of them remain indifferent. Manuel del Arco , a journalist for La Revista de Barcelona, spoke to her in 1952. The idea was for it to be an interview, but she forbade him to publish anything he said. The journalist can only explain the impressions made by Gala:

"Yes, I can say what I thought of this woman, which seems to mean so much to Dalí's life. It is the opposite pole to Dalí, in terms of exhibition; he, exhibitionist by premeditation; she, in the twilight by system. She is as smart as Dalí or more, but she tries to hide it. Guess the double intention and respond with irony. He is always on guard. He loves Dalí. ”

If you want to know more about these two great figures in the history of art and visit this wonderful space for artistic creation, come to the next outing of the European Center at the Castle of Púbol and let your imagination fly!

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