Celestial Elephants in Salvador Dali Land

Salvador Dali's life and work continues to enthrall and captivate  art lovers and historians. He was larger than life and was not just a painter, but also a printmaker, sculptor, writer, filmmaker, jewelry and fashion designer, photographer and unabashed self promoter.

With Dali, it was always best to expect the unexpected, like this Alka Seltzer commercial:



Dali Land

A look at Salvador Dali's life in New York and Spain during the 1970s is set for production at the end of the year.  Ezra Miller is going to play a young Dali, Ben Kingsley the older Dali. Director Mary Harron, best known for American Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol, co-wrote and will direct Dali Land.


The film looks at the world of Dali through the eyes of a young gallery assistant who gets caught up in Dali's  flamboyant life style and troublesome personal life. The movie will be filmed in Spain and Canada.


Crowdfunding for a Dali in Australia

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) wants to own a Salvador Dali and is crowdfunding to get it. In 2009, the National Gallery held a hugely successful Dali retrospective, and began its search for a Dali of its own.


On loan to NGV from a private collection, Trilogy of the desert: Mirage was created in 1946. The painting was commissioned by the Shulton Cosmetics company to promote a new perfume. The gallery has already made a down payment of $4 million, but still owes $1.5 million. If all goes well, the NGV will become the first public Australian gallery to own a Dali painting.


Salvador Dali and the Celestial Elephant

Salvador Dali actually owned an elephant named Susurus, which was housed at the Barcelona zoo. The elephant appeared in his work as early as 1937,  during what he called his Paranoiac-critical period. In Swans Reflecting Elephants, the swans' heads transform into reflections of the elephants' heads and the trees become the bodies of the elephants.


The elephant appears again, this time in a whimsical rendering,  in Dali's 1944 painting, Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The elephant in the work is based not only on a dream, but also on Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Elephant and Obelisk sculpture in the Piazza della Minerva in Rome.


The elephant whimsy continued in Celestial Elephant, available at VFA, where cherubs trumpet atop the elephant, which walks through the desert on flamingo-like legs. In 1962, Dali was commissioned by Air India to design a promotional ashtray, which was made in porcelain by Limoges. The ashtray is both a swan and an elephant depending on whether it is placed right side up or upside down.


Salvador Dali at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about Celestial Elephant or any of the other works by Salvador Dali for sale at VFA.

May 21, 2018
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