The man. The master. The marvel.
DALÍ & BEN LEVI COLLECTION
Salvador Dalí is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. His fiercely technical yet highly unusual paintings, sculptures and visionary explorations in film and life-size interactive art ushered in a new generation of imaginative expression. From his personal life to his professional endeavors, he always took great risks and proved how rich the world can be when you dare to embrace pure, boundless creativity.
Salvador Dalí: Biography
Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí I Domenech was born on the morning of May 11th, 1904 in the small agricultural town of Figueres, Spain.
He was named after his elder brother Salvador, who died shortly before Dalí was born. Dalí spent his childhood in Figueres and at the family's summer home in the coastal fishing village of Cadaques where his parents built his first studio.
From an early age, Dalí was encouraged to practice his art and would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid.
In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí's first Surrealist phase. He is perhaps best known for his 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting.
As an adult, he made his home with his wife Gala in nearby Port Lligat. Many of his paintings reflect his love of this area of Spain.
Dalí died in Figueres in 1989.
Modern Art Expert
Beniamino Levi, President of the Dalí Universe, is a recognised world expert in the field of Modern Art. His seventy plus years in the art business means his expertise spans a wide range of artistic knowledge, from Impressionism through modern times.
Mr. Levi is a collector-connoisseur whose interest in fine and decorative art was encouraged from an early age, his grandfather was an antiques dealer from San Remo.
Based in the bustling Milan of the 1960s and 70s, Mr. Levi managed the prestigious ‘Galleria Levi’ art gallery on Via Montenapoleone. He sought to bring International Modern Art to Italian collectors and spread a deeper awareness of the modern art movements amongst the Italian public. Quite fortuitously Beniamino Levi came into contact with the renowned Milanese art critic Franco Passoni at a bridge tournament. It was the great Passoni who sowed the seed in the mind of the ambitious Levi that he must open a modern art gallery and champion modernism; Passoni recognised Levi’s talent as a connoisseur. Levi opened his gallery in 1956, when he was just twenty eight years old. Levi ran the gallery between 1956 and 1978. He met many famous names in the art world and had dealings with them, including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and the Italian Lucio Fontana.
Mr Beniamino Levi is not only a curator and an expert in Modern Art who can describe, analyze, exhibit, and maintain collections…he was there when it all happened.
Dalí Melting Clocks
The famous melting clocks represent the omnipresence of time, and identify its mastery over human beings.
The swarming ants in Dalí’s pictures and sculptures are references to death and decay, and are reminders of human mortality and impermanence.
Dalí links the egg to pre-natal images and the intra-uterine universe, and thus it is a symbol of both hope and love.
The crutch is one of Dalí’s most important images and features in many of his works. It is first and foremost a symbol of reality and an anchor in the ground of the real world, providing spiritual and physical support for inadequacy in life.
Dalí’s elephants are usually depicted with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire, and carry objects on their backs.