Sunday, April 10, 2011

Salvador Dalí and the Jews

By Jillian Steinhauer. Dalí's 'Aliyah' showed Israel in a positive light, but the painter was also a fan of Hitler and Franco

"...Did the artist feel some kind of empathy for the Jewish people? Or, conversely, was he simply trying to build a Jewish market, even exploit the Jews for commercial benefit? The picture is complicated by the fact that Dalí displayed an intimate fascination with Hitler and Franco in the 1930s and ’40s, much to the dismay of his fellow surrealists. And “Aliyah” is not his only Jewish-themed work: He produced other paintings, as well as two sculptures, “Menorah” and “Western Wall,“ whose images he licensed to a man named Jean-Paul Delcourt in 1980. Delcourt has since built a small industry of Dalí Jewish art products.

"What to make, then, of a man whose political leanings seem at odds with his artistic output? For Blumenthal, the contrast is not as harsh as it seems. “I think that Dalí was not ideologically a racist, anti-Semite, communist, socialist, fascist or anything,” he said. “He was an artist. He absorbed everything from the environment, took it in, and then transformed it and sent it back out again.” (For those who remain skeptical, it may be helpful to refer to George Orwell, who, in a 1944 review of Dalí’s autobiography, mused, “One ought to be able to hold in one’s head simultaneously the two facts that Dalí is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being.”)...Read it all

--->Dali on Hitler (another interpretation, for what it's worth--SH): "There is little scholarship on Dali’s fascination with Hitler. It is generally glossed over, probably because it manifested itself most strongly in the post-war years after Dali’s "golden age" of painting was over. Still, Dali’s obsession perfectly ties into the distinctly Freudian themes that run across the spectrum of Dali’s work. His anxiety over impotence is manifested in the flaccid blob-like shapes featured in paintings spanning virtually his entire career, from Surrealist Composition (1928) to Rhinocerontic Figure of Phidias’s "Ilyssos" (1954). The teardrop that hangs precariously from the end of the telephone receiver in The Enigma of Hitler (above last) is a typical example of his recurring drooping, impotent shapes. Adolf Hitler had no children. He was, however, a huge promoter of breeding, and his warped master-race concept was founded on virility...More

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Note: The writer states along the way in this interesting piece, "The current canard that Israel cannot be both Jewish and Democratic reveals a most pernicious apocalyptic vision of political craft". That would have to be a mystery to most of us I suspect, a strange "democracy" where none 'other' would ever be allowed a legal majority and route to power. But it's the same for any kind of strictly Islamic "democracy," even if there is more of a decisive racial-ethnic factor with Israel. In either case "democracy" seems something of a mirage to the Western eye.

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2 comments:

  1. I have never liked Dali's work. Like Annie Dillard, they give too much of the soul to the brain. There are indeed some creative folks who tend to make one want to sleep with the lights on..

    but at least now I know why his clocks are always so.. unclockly.

    Seriously, some artists --if they give credence to God at all -- skip calling on Him to explain why they are obsessed with this or that, never realizing, then, that maybe their works weren't from or of God. And most of them do themselves in, sooner or later.

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  2. Good God, imagine anyone appreciating insomnia! Since adulthood set in, those nights have come only from trials of the body either by illness or from surfaces the equivalent of a quickly pitched tent without an air mattress, heading downhill. My biggest fantasy is to snuggle into a perfectly soft, warm, comfortable (and level) bed. Otherwise, I can't help thinking that insomnia is mostly a wild horse of Godlessness (temporary, for most of us). We aren't God, we cannot fix a thing! It does no good to lie there and plan things, fellows. We can only wrap up in guardian angel arms and humbly allow the body what it needs and patiently wait for morning light to begin our day.

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