Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dirty Dali: a Private View

video topic: art
entry type: documentary

video title: Dirty Dali: a Private View

artist featured: Salvatore Dali
director: Guy Evans
producer: October Films
run time: 60 min
size: 344 mb
release date: 2007


description and preview:
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Art critic Brian Sewell gives a persona insight into the private life of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.

As a young man, Brian Sewell met the artist Salvador Dalí and was invited to his house. That evening, after an awkward period of time with hosts and guest sitting in remote eggs, Sewell found himself lying in the armpit of a sculpture of Christ, masturbating while Dalí watched. This started a friendship of shorts that lasted several years and, from this personal perspective he recalls his memories of Dalí from the time but also his thoughts as he watched Dalí in his later years.

Dirty Dalí: A Private View was a reminiscence by art critic Brian Sewell about his encounters with Dalí and wife Gala at their home in Port Lligat in the late Sixties and early Seventies. What’s interesting about it is the first-hand light it throws on Dalí’s complicated sexuality which has been the source of speculation in biographies (notably Ian Gibson’s The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí) but which is confused by the artist’s simultaneous revealing of his obsessions in his art and the veiling of his interests in public statements, not least the frequent declarations of impotence. Sewell confirms that Dalí was interested in both men and women although purely as a voyeur, and recounts how his first encounter with the artist led to his having to lie naked in the armpit of a giant Christ sculpture in Dalí’s garden, masturbating while Dalí took photographs. Sewell also examines Dalí’s affair with Federico García Lorca, the closest the artist came to a gay romance, and his subsequent relationship with Gala, which became one where the pair used the artist’s celebrity to attract delectable people of both sexes, like a pair of art world super-swingers. According to Sewell, Dalí’s physical ideal was the hermaphrodite which would possibly explain his attraction to (alleged) transsexual Amanda Lear during this time.

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