Dalí and the beyond

13 septembre 2017

Dalí himself says that "his whole life has been determined only by two antagonistic entities: the summit and the bottom". Genius artist, megalomaniac superstar and controversial, headliner of the circle of surrealists, Dalí frequented the greatest personalities of the twentieth century. From General Franco to Pablo Picasso through Pope Pius XII, the one said to be richer than the President of the United States returns from the dead to make a final blow.

Death is the beginning of immortality

All begins for Salvador Dalí with the death of his elder brother. While he was only 5 years old, his parents took him to the tomb of his brother, also named Salvador, and confided to him that he was the reincarnation. From that moment on, Salvador Dalí will not cease wanting to claim to the whole world his uniqueness. Haunted by the ghost of his brother; "I was born double. My brother, the first attempt of myself, an extreme genius, and therefore unsustainable, had nevertheless lived seven years before the accelerated circuits of his brain caught fire."; Dalí finds refuge in eccentricity and provocation. In contact with the painter Ramón Pichot, Dalí discovers Impressionism and participates in several exhibitions from the age of 14. 2 years later, Dalí loses her mother who is sick with cervical cancer. This episode is a real blow for the artist who was very close to his mother: "I loved her. I could not resign myself to the loss of a being with whom I intended to make invisible the inevitable tasks of my soul.” In spite of the mourning, Dalí joined the following year the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. The artist cultivates a look of dandy and does not leave his comrades indifferent. Dalí is a beast, attracting all the attention. At school he became friends with the poet Federico Garcia Lorca and the director Luis Buñuel. Together they look into the studies of Sigmund Freud and Dalí is more and more interested in Dadaism. In the run-up to the final examinations, Dalí, an incorrigible megalomaniac, says that no one is able to examine him and is expelled from the Academy. 

Far from admitting defeat, Dalí set out to conquer Paris, with in his pocket two letters of recommendation addressed to poets and novelists: Max Jacob and André Breton. During his trip to Paris, Dalí also met Picasso, who had already heard the praise of this young prodigy by a certain Joan Miró. The Picassian genius never stopped inspiring Dalí and the two artists remained in contact all their lives. Always more whimsical, Dalí continues his hectic journey and claims his attitude of superstar artist. He thus bears fine mustaches meticulously maintained, frozen at 10:10 am that still remain today inseparable from the character.


From 1929, Dalí joined the circle of surrealists and met a multitude of artists: André Breton, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Man Ray, Tristan Tzara, Paul Eluard and his wife Helena, nicknamed by all Gala. In 1936, Dalí flees the civil war of Spain and travels to Europe before leaving for the American continent. The American press welcomes with open arms this artistic genius that the newspapers already call "Mr. Surrealism". In 1938, the consecration for Dalí meets the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Following this meeting, Sigmund Freud said: "I have never seen a more perfect specimen of Spanish; what a fanatic!" Fabulous fanatic fantasy, Dalí is back in Paris in 1955 at a conference he gives to the Sorbonne on his "paranoid-critical" method. He arrives in a yellow and black Rolls Royce loaded with cauliflower which he distributes to the onlookers as autographs. Equal to himself Dalí remains until his death a rebellious, talented, original and unique spirit and a reference in the history of surrealism and art. The painter died in January 1989 at the age of 84 in his native town of Figueras and was buried in the crypt of the Dalí theater-museum.

The exhumation of Dalí

"I just want to know the truth, and that's it." This is what Pilar Abel told the Spanish press in July 2017. This 61-year-old cartomaniac, born in the city of Figueras, the very place where Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born and died, wants to know the truth about her father's identity. Pilar Abel remembers a secret that her grandmother had given her when she was only 8 years old. According to her, Pilar's real father was not the one she believed: "I know you're not my son's daughter, I know your father is a great painter." "She told me the name : Dalí ". Wanted so much to know the identity of her true genitor, Pilar Abel has made several DNA tests. No results have been received. 

Faced with this lack of response, Pilar Abel seized the Madrid court and asked for the exhumation of Salvador Dalí's body to carry out a DNA test. Finally, the court of Madrid accedes to the request of Pilar Abel while specifying that in case of absence of filiation between Salvador Dalí and Pilar Abel the latter will have to reimburse the expenses incurred for the exhumation. Thus on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 8 pm, the tile of a ton that covers the tomb of Dalí in the crypt of the theater-museum of Figueras is withdrawn to leave room for the experts who will take DNA. This "very complicated technical operation will be performed on bone remains and / or dental parts". The samples were then sent to the toxicological laboratory in Madrid and the result is without appeal: Pilar Abel is not the daughter of Salvador Dalí. 20 years after the funeral of the Catalan painter the tomb closes once again offering Dalí a last day proportional to his life.