Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Salvador Dalí, fully Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech

Spanish Surrealist Painter

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."

"When the creation of a genius collide with the mind of a layman, and produce an empty sound, there is little doubt as to which is at fault."

"A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others."

"An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and has no hair under her arms."

"At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since."

"Be mad."

"Beauty should be edible, or not at all."

"Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you."

"Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery."

"Democratic societies are unfit for the publication of such thunderous revelations as I am in the habit of making."

"Do not strive to be a modern artist: it's the one thing, unfortunately, you can't help being."

"Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid."

"Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad."

"Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali."

"Forever will be you and me."

"Give me two hours a day of activity, and I'll take the other twenty-two in dreams."

"God is just another artist, like me."

"Happy is he who causes a scandal."

"I am not strange, I am just not normal."

"I am the first to be surprised and often terrified by the images that I see appear on my canvas."

"I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality."

"I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait."

"I do not take [do]drugs. I am drugs."

"I do not understand why, when I ask for grilled lobster in a restaurant, I'm never served a cooked telephone."

"I have Dalinian thought: the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous."

"I seated ugliness on my knee, and almost immediately grew tired of it."

"I shall be so brief that I have already finished."

"I want to perceive and understand the hidden powers and laws of things, in order to have them in my power."

"If you understand a painting beforehand, you might as well not paint it."

"In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob."

"Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums."

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."

"It is either easy or impossible."

"It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning."

"It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself."

"It's better to have loved and lost than do forty pounds of laundry a week."

"Let my enemies devour each other"

"Let the labyrinth of wrinkles be furrowed in my brow with the red-hot iron of my own life, let my hair whiten and my step become vacillating, on condition that I can save the intelligence of my soul - let my unformed childhood soul, as it ages, assume the rational and esthetic forms of an architecture, let me learn just everything that others cannot teach me, what only life would be capable of marking deeply in my skin!"

"Let them talk of one, however well"

"Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory."

"Love, I said, it seemed strangely gastric certain sensations of the first symptoms of dizziness, restlessness and tremors produced a so delicate that one was not sure if he loved or was going to vomit."

"Many people do not reach their eighties because they try to stay in their forties too long."

"Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them."

"Never argue with stupid because people will not know Oikma stupid"

"New skin, a new land! And a land of liberty, if that is possible! I chose the geology of a land that was new to me, and that was young, virgin, and without drama, that of America. I traveled in America, but instead of romantically and directly rubbing the snakeskin of my body against the asperities of its terrain, I preferred to peel protected within the armor of the gleaming black crustacean of a Cadillac which I gave Gala as a present. Nevertheless all the men who admire and the women who are in love with my old skin will easily be able to find its remnants in shredded pieces of various sizes scattered to the winds along the roads from New York via Pittsburgh to California. I have peeled with every wind; pieces of my skin have remained caught here and there along my way, scattered through that promised land which is America; certain pieces of this skin have remained hanging in the spiny vegetation of the Arizona desert, along the trails where I galloped on horseback, where I got rid of all my former Aristotelian planetary notions. Other pieces of my skin have remained spread out like tablecloths without food on the summits of the rocky masses by which one reaches the Salt Lake, in which the hard passion of the Mormons saluted in me the European phantom of Apollinaire. Still other pieces have remained suspended along the antediluvian bridge of San Francisco, where I saw in passing the ten thousand most beautiful virgins in America, completely naked, standing in line on each side of me as I passed, like two rows of organ-pipes of angelic flesh with cowrie-shell sea vulvas."

"No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist."

"Nobody dared to touch them. This was my test regarding the sacred aspect of mustaches."

"Oh, Salvador, Now you know the truth; if you act the genius you will be one."

"One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams."

"Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality."