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Boys I'd Have Dinner with: Salvador Dalí

A look at the surrealist painting, The Persistence of Memory, is almost akin to reading a thousand words about its creator, Salvador Dalí, not to mention having a full course dinner with him. 

The quirky yet meaningful composition lends an unspeakable view of Dalí's selfhood, poignant memories and philosophy towards life. Not all of us can depict a pocket clock in the semblance of a melting Camembert (cow's milk cheese). But Salvador did, and went beyond by giving us a glimpse of his undying patriotism for his home region, Catalonia, Spain by way of the painting's landscape.

His imagination runs the impressively massive gamut from seeing a nude female figure from a rock formation in Cap de Creus and transforming it to The Great Masturbator masterpiece; to being able to create double images (such as Paranoiac Face) — a painting that can be read in multiple ways.

In the two minutes that I took to take in all the sights of his artwork, I had an arbitrary thought that if someone were to ask me the 'If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose?' question, then I'd answer Salvador Dalí, no ifs and buts.

His singular charm, creativity and eccentricity would surely make me sit opposite him for a couple of hours more and eat that dessert despite having no more room for it.

Here are some more justifications to back this up:

He makes everything interesting.

Salvador triumphs in associating surrealism in a lot of things and injecting a bit of humor in otherwise just-functional objects, as evidenced by the Lobster TelephoneMae West lip sofaThe Royal Heart.

He doesn't take shit from anyone.

The founder of Surrealism, André Breton, literally kicked him out of the avante-garde movement because he refused to be associated with left-wing politics while majority of surrealists did so. And Dalí's comeback? "I myself am surrealism" and continued to be one of the iconic surrealist painters.

He is a crowd-pleaser.

Dalí had a great understanding about the mass culture. He knew what — in today's terms — goes viral and thus, was able to draw attention to his work and more interestingly, to himself. His eccentric demeanor made him notorious so to speak, which made his artworks sell.

He is open to new possibilities.

Aside from being an innately visual genius, he wanted to broaden his horizons and continued to push boundaries within the art scene and beyond. This included a stint as a stage designer for the romantic play called Mariana Pineda in 1927, Bacchanale in 1939, Labyrinth in 1941 and The Three-Cornered Hat in 1949; as a fashion designer, collaborating with Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli brought the iconic white dress with lobster print and the shoe hat to life.

He also kickstarted a career as a writer; his works include The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (1942), Diary of a Genius (1952–63), and Oui: The Paranoid-Critical Revolution (1927–33). As if that weren't enough, he also co-produced a short animated film Destino with Walt Disney.

He is one crazy man.

He is a guy worthy of an award-winning biographic film a la Margaret Keane (Big Eyes). A dinner with him is sure a rollercoaster. Each word he'd utter, I'm certain, will let me discover other sides of him unbeknownst to the public and beyond his notoriety.

Plus, who would have the appetite for dinner if you know you'd be spending it with a lackluster character anyway?

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