Life & Culture

Ten Mind-Bending Salvador Dalí Quotes

Ahead of the artist’s exhumation, we gather ten of his most surreal soundbites

  • TextTed Stansfield

28 years after being laid to rest, Salvador Dalí is being exhumed. Tomorrow, the artist’s remains will be drawn up from his self-designed crypt under the stage at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in his hometown of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain.

He’s being exhumed to settle the claim of a woman named Pilar Abel who says she is his daughter. Abel, who is fittingly a tarot card reader and fortune teller from Girona, close to Figueres, claims she was conceived during a “clandestine love affair” in 1955 and that her mother, Antonia Martínez, spoke often about her father, Dalí. Abel also claims she shares an irrefutable likeness to the artist, saying “the only thing I’m missing is a moustache”, and furthermore suggests that her gift for clairvoyance is inherited from her father, who was an ardent believer in the paranormal. She not only wants to be recognised as Dalí’s daughter, but to stake a claim to a quarter of his fortune which, under Spanish law, she’d be entitled to if the DNA test is positive.

Ahead of Dalí’s exhumation and the results of his test, we present ten of his most mind-bending quotes.

1. “Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.”

2. “What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.”

3. “You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life.”

4. “[I got my start in the art world] before one month, before new life, before born, you know?... Because my first concrete memories is intra uterine (sic) memories…”

5. “Before I was born it was completely paradise… the moment of [being] born is the moment the paradise is lost. Death is the regain of this paradise.”

6. “[I] believe in general in death but in the death of Dali absolutely not. [I] believe in my death becoming very – almost impossible.”

7. “The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.”

8. “Give me two hours a day of activity, and I'll take the other twenty-two in dreams.”

9. “What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdads of his dreams to rise from the dust.”

10. “There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.”

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