Happy Birthday, Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali would have been 112 today. Some are taken from us much too soon.

This min-mini treatise by the surrealist legend was used as an informal introduction to the exhibit “Prague, Paris, Barcelona. Photographic Modernity from 1918 to 1948″ at Barcelona’s Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in July 2010. It was an excellent survey and overview of how the avant garde photography scene in those cities intersected during the overview of the inter-war period of the last century. The exhibit brochure is here.

I often return to the second and last sentences to remind myself of what photography can and should be and try my best to take it to heart. Knowing how to look in order to create something entirely new is especially important now, in an age when we’re drowning in more photos than ever before. And with the majority of those as unimaginative, dull and cliche as never before.

That’s my main takeaway from the works of Dali. I look at them differently now than I did when I was first introduced to him as a teenager.

Then it was with a vivid wild eye, pondering the possibilities that lurked behind the door he helped open. Now, it’s a much more restrained and less exciting view. That’s not to say that I appreciate any less the inventiveness and energy he helped unleash in his attempt to identify the gap between illusion and reality. Indeed, I’m grateful. And delighted to give these words pride of place as the site’s 859th straight Pic du Jour.



  1. poshbirdy says

    A true great. And a bit of a loony too. Gotta love Dali

  2. Swav says

    Years ago..

    A friend of mine, a photographer said something interesting.. about the old ways of choosing the right photo set for exhibition.. they used to print out samples in big scale to let them hang on the wall for a while.. at least 6 months before exhibition.. just to find out, which one will stood the test of time.

    As an artist, I can only say that.. every once for a while.. a masterpiece is created with tremendous energy of inspiration, which resonates from the canvas or piece of polaroid paper for years.. or 60 years for example..

    ~ Enjoy your weekend folks! It’s summer here in Ireland.. Swav @PaintingsbySwav

    PS I had no idea that Salvadore was born on 11th of May.. hmm.. my birthday is on the 10th of May and my first name is Slawomir = Salvadore or Salvatore, depend on the country of origin.. very interesting..

    1. Bob R says

      That’s a very good practice. I’ll often wait several months before even processing most photos. I look at them much differently and more critically later, when the act and experience of making them passes and isn’t so immediate. And Happy belated birthday Swav!

      1. Swav says

        The whole process of waiting gives specific way of looking with fresh eyes.. Thanks for birthday wishes.. What is the biggest size of picture/photo you ever made?

        1. Bob R says

          Never very large. The biggest was 1.25m square, but that was a rare exception.

  3. Swav says

    re-twitted this.. cheers

    1. Bob R says


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