The Appearance of Gala and Her Influence on Dali’s Life and Art
Every great artist has a muse who inspires him and who moves his creativity forward, and Salvador Dali was not an exception. Gala Dali whose real name was Elena Ivanovna Diakonova had a significant influence on the art and life of the great artist. She was not only his muse but his financial and art manager; she was a person who guides the artist in the cruel world of business and art.
The relationships between Salvador and Gala were complicated and harmonious at the same time. To understand the impact which Gala Dali had on the artist’s life, it is essential to consider the particular qualities of that time and the Dali’s character and art. Dali was a successful artist who was well-known for his talent and his movie An Andalusian Dog which was seen by an audience in 1929. This year was significant to the artist not only because of the film but because of the meeting which changed all his entire life. In 1929 the famous poet Paul Eluard and his wife Gala visited Salvador Dali in Spain. Dali fell in love with Gala Eluard as she was the mysterious experienced woman, and he felt so shy and so unhelpful beside her (“Gala Biography | Gala – Salvador Dali Foundation”). That year they started their affair, and after Eluard’s death, they got married. That was a big platonic love for both of them which changed their destinies.
Dali was a typical artist with fears and struggles which made his relationships with women very complicated. He was 25 years old when he met Gala, and she was ten years older than him. She was the first woman he ever had relationships with. Their marriage was built on the trust and platonic love, because of his fear of women’s anatomy he could not have physical love with her. He trusted her and let Gala have affairs with other young men who mostly were also artists because he knew that he could not give her the full love in some physical aspects. He adored beautiful women, he adored his wife even if she was not the typical beauty, but she had strong character and charisma, so she became a muse for the artist. Gala inspired him to paint his the most famous and the most important picture in the career named Portrait of Galerina. Gala started a new stage in his artistic life; she inspired him to create sculptures, paintings, pieces of literature which made Dali famous.
It is important to highlight that he was not organized person, he was a very creative individual, and he was not adapted to the real world. Gala became his manager, she solved his problems with the art business, she helped him to sell the pictures, to rent the galleries, and she was the person who forced him to take jobs such as decoration of shop windows when he had no projects to earn money on his paintings. Gala became the most important person in his life. She helped him with the household; she took care of Dali like the mother. When he had nightmares, she calmed him down and analyzed that dreams with him, which eventually helped him to create his pieces of art.
Proceeding from this, it should be stated that Dali was a representative of Surrealism. It means that his art is based on the associations, and dreams were an important part of it. Dali was a fan of Freud and his works, so he used to analyze his unconscious to create his paintings. Also, he wrote journals which are the most influential source of the knowledge about Dali’s thoughts and art, and about such an important part of his life as relationships with his beloved Gala.
It is important to understand that Gala and Salvador Dali had problems during their long relationships. The artist was aware of numerous affairs which his wife had, but at the end of their marriage, he understood that he wanted Gala to be only his wife. It is important to note that she was his only family. Dali’s relationship with parents was not ordinary. He had a conflict with his father because of the picture that defamed his mother’s memory. Salvador Dali did not experience a full mother’s love, so he was looking for that warm in the relationships with Gala.
Gala had a great influence on Dali’s character and life. Furthermore, it can be stated that without her, the world could not have got such a significant artist as Dali. Without Gala he might have stayed a strange person with the phobia of real life and who experienced procrastination like a lot of other creative individuals. On the other hand, Gala brought not only positive things to the artist’s life. She also used benefits of being a wife of the famous and rich artist. Gala Dali spent a lot of money on her affairs; she bought expensive presents for her lovers. For the last one, she bought a house, as she was not as young as earlier, so she had to buy the love of young and attractive men.
It is important to note that despite all the difficulties which the famous couple faced, Gala was the person who created the artist who is well-known around the world. She was the person who showed Dali that it was crucial for him to build the relationships with patrons. “Dali created The Old Age of William Tell, a painting which represents his painful breakup with his family and his new union with Gala. These were both momentous events for him, and he needed to work through his feelings about them via his artistic creations” (Ross, 58). After the breakup of his family he had no money, so he faced the necessity to search for other sources of income. Gala helped him to find the patrons who were glad to help the artist and who bought his paintings, so he had enough money to live and create.
In conclusion, it must be said that Gala had a great impact on the life and art of great and famous artist Salvador Dali. She was not only his muse but the person who helped him to oriented in the cruel world of the art business; she was the force which moved him forward and made him create. This is not an exaggeration to say, that thanks to this woman the world has recognized this particular artist and thanks to her he became the well-known and famous person in the world of art.
Ross, Michael Elsohn. Salvador Dalí And The Surrealists. Chicago, Ill., Chicago Review Press, 2003.
“Gala Biography | Gala – Salvador Dali Foundation.” Salvador-Dali.Org, 2017, https://www.salvador-dali.org/en/dali/bio-gala/.
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