Salvador Dalí’s Influence Remains Ubiquitous, Dynamic & Endless

By Paul Chimera

Salvador Dalí Historian


Dalí the influencer. That’s the Dalí I want to talk about today. The man not only influenced virtually every aspect of contemporary art and popular culture during his prolific career, but continues to do so long after his passing nearly 30 years ago.


We see the influence of Dalí’s uniquely “Dalíesque” style of Surrealism everywhere: in print and electronic advertising. ..


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In fashion and popular music…


Going Gaga over Dalí!

Going Gaga over Dalí!



In theater…


Actors from the Finzi Pasca Company hang a theatrical backdrop that was painted by Salvador Dalí in the 1940's for an adaptation of Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolda, at the Auditorio Nacional del Sodre in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The backdrop is being used in their work "La Verita," a circus show that was inspired by Dalí's painting and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)



In gift wear (think melty clocks and runny wrist watches)…


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In the hugely popular and growing interest in body art; i.e., tattooing – frequently showcased on the Salvador Dalí Page on Facebook…


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Even in celebrities such as Dustin Hoffman affecting a dramatic Dalí stare…




We see all manner of artists — serious and commercial — channeling Dalí’s unmistakable double-imagery magic in their work . . .


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And there’s his influence on present-day artists. Both in terms of these artists’ painting style, and with respect to the subject matter of many artists, who’ve chosen to portray the mustachioed Catalan painter and genius in myriad ways.


As Dalí historian for The Salvador Dalí Society®, Inc.© of Torrance, California (I’m based in Buffalo, New York), I proudly claim friendship with three American artists who’ve paid tribute to Salvador Dalí in unique and impressive ways. They’ve recognized that Dalí was an inimitable trend-setter and genius on many levels.


Bethel, Connecticut artist Louis Markoya, who was a Dalí collaborator and protégé, has made it his life’s mission to carry on the Surrealism and Nuclear-Mysticism of his celebrated mentor. Markoya recently completed a series of 12 portraits of influencers in his life, of course including Dalí. The ultra-fluidity of the series – which includes Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan and other luminaries – suggests the fluid intra-atomic world, but inevitably also extends the sinewy, fluid look of so many of Salvador Dalí’s oils, prints, drawings and even sculptures.


Louis Markoya interprets Salvador Dalí

Louis Markoya interprets Salvador Dalí



St. Petersburg, Florida painter Steven Kenny adopts a neo-surrealist style in his meticulous pictures, including this outstanding tribute to Mr. Dalí…


Steven Kenney's portrait of Dalí

Steven Kenny’s portrait of Dalí


And Doug Auld of Hoboken, New Jersey, created a series that captured the likeness of famous people in tableaus comprised of butterflies, fish, bees, birds and other elements. His portrait of Salvador Dalí – composed of leaves and insects – is nothing short of amazing…


Doug Auld's hidden Dalí

Doug Auld’s hidden Dalí


Perhaps the main take-away of what I’m imparting today is that, unlike most other artists, Dalí’s influence is still so very much alive, so vibrant, so relevant. New books on the artist; novelty items, such as a just-released “action figure” whose mustache can be formed to the owner’s tastes; even Dalí socks …


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…and frequent exhibitions around the globe, examining all aspects of his boundless creativity, serve to demonstrate that, as some scholars are indeed now contending, Salvador Dalí just might be the greatest artist of all time. Certainly the most popular in his own time.


Yes, such a grandiose statement may still be a little difficult to carve in stone. But it’s getting less and less difficult every day.



(Images used under Fair Use provisions for journalistic purposes only)