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The life of Salvador Dali was one of much eccentricity, but he was also one of the most influential painters of the twentieth century. The story of his life is an extremely interesting one, and greatly inspired his artwork. Dali’s childhood and his growing up process had a lot to do with the man he would become later in life. He had a brother who was born before him, who had the same name. He died of meningitis before the Salvador Dali we know was born. This had an obvious psychological effect on our Dali. It caused him to be very ambitious as he felt he needed to prove himself to his family. His deceased brother was very special to his entire family, and Dali always felt inferior to this “image.” Being the center of attention was always important to Dali. One year, when Haley’s comet was going through the air and his entire family was watching the sky, he kicked his sister because no one was paying any attention to him. Dali’s family was compromised of an increasing number of women, and his entire life he portrayed feminine attributes. The death of his mother at age seventeen traumatized him immensely. And to add to the shock, his father then married his mother’s sister. Before this, Dali painted gorgeous landscapes and portraits, but now he begins to paint his “tormented soul.” In 1921, Dali began to attend the University Residence of Madrid. There, he met friends like Federico Garcia Lorca (a famous poet). Lorca was gay and fell in love with Dali, who was immature sexually at this point in his life and scared of gay relations, but the two remained close for many years afterwards. One year after he started at the University, he got suspended a year. He was eventually expelled two years later for his problems with authority. He claimed that he was more qualified than the teachers and administration who examined him. Dali was still painting at this point, and became very much interested in Freud’s theory of the unconscious (ego, superego, id) and dream interpretation, where he believed dreams were ways to allow our unconscious to express itself in disguise. Dali met Freud in 1938 and Freud was not very impressed with Dali. Rejection set in, and he started to move away from Freudian theories. One of Dali’s friends, Paul Eluard, had a wife by the name of Gala, who Dali was enamored with.

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