20 years ago, on the 23rd of January, the last great painter of the 20th century died. He was the last living legend from the innovative generations of the century, and probably the only one whose fame could approach Picasso's back when they both were active. His name is - Salvador Dalí.
I have some posts about him on this blog, starting with his autobiography, the brilliant The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí that perfectly shows that - apart from some exceptions - he was a man madly in love with himself and later his wife, Gala as well, until the post from a few days ago where I put here some pictures of his youth.
Dalí is legendary, not only for his art that was indescribably new and sometimes scandalous in his time, but also for the aforementioned love for himself. He lead a life most people would call crazy but considering the way his brain worked (judging by his also aforementioned writing), that was the only possible life for him to lead. He was convinced he was a king above all things, including death and not even in the final days of his life could he believe it might end some day.
There was nothing he was afraid to do or paint, there was no-one who could make him doubt his own abilities and there was no-one he would have traded his life with: "Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dalí."
But, he was also a wise man deep down, with some romantic thoughts and a well defined philosophy (no matter how much he hated philosophy). Once he stated, "when your wife has pain in her left foot, you too have to feel pain in your left foot" and he is the man who also said the sentence I think is really true, "for me, love must be ugly, looks must be divine and death must be beautiful".
And yes, there were many who said he was crazy, but he was also right to say "The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad." He did everything he did being perfectly aware of how extraordinary it was yet most of the time without trying too hard - that was his nature and he refused to change it.
This is how he could become one of the most iconic and acclaimed aritsts of the 20th century.