Wednesday, July 09, 2014

This is Dali by Catherine Ingram

A graphic novel treatment is a most appropriate approach to the life of the surrealist artist Salvador Dali. He is remembered for wildly strange art, much of which had elements of humor. Most was oil on canvas, but he also strove to express his own brand of art with his clothing and the design and furnishing of his home. Using a mixture of the most famous Dali images and comic drawings from illustrator Andrew Rae, author Catherine Ingram recounts Dali's strange life in her concise biography This is Dali.

"Outrageous" might be the most appropriate one word to describe Dali. He seems to have enjoyed shocking the public and have no true purpose in life other than self-promotion. About the kindest thing Ingram has to say about Dali, other than he was an artistic genius, was that he was lonely. She points to poor parenting as one reason for his seeming lack of care for others.

Whosoever understands Dali, the author suggests can also understand his art. In This is Dali, she explains the joke behind the melting clocks and suggests that Dali influenced many artists to come, including Alfred Hitchcock and Andy Warhol. I would add that John Pasche probably knew Dali's lips logo when he made a tongue and lips logo for the Rolling Stones. Maybe you'll recognize other ways Dali shaped our world if you give this odd little book a try.

Ingram, Catherine and illustrations by Andrew Rae. This is Dali. Laurence King Publishing, 2014. 80p. ISBN 9781780671093.

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