Dali’s World by Montse Aguer (book review).

Just looking at the cover of Montse Aguer’s book, ‘Dali’s World’, and you know you’re in for a treat. The book feels luxurious with thick glossy pages to match Salvador Dali’s art which is truly fantastic and bizarre. However, his early work shown here, shows he knew how to draw and paint well before going his own unique way. You wouldn’t hesitate to call him eccentric or a geek, so he really needs to be looked at here. Indeed, his interests reach far beyond the arts with an interest in any creative medium and the sciences as well. In today’s terms, he would be classed as a multi-media artist.

Don’t think the page numbers are low. Hidden through out the book are five sleeves that have a variety of extra documentation and translations to read from his normal Spanish. Indeed, it took far longer to read and absorb the information in this book than I imagined.

Something I didn’t know was Dali’s full name: Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali y Domènech. No wonder he shortened it. Dali also belonged to the school of Surrealists that had, shall we say, interesting political views but considering how they changed so much, I doubt if they knew what they believed in themselves. It would have been interesting to measure up their individual egos although don’t confuse that with their individual generosities.

I did see some of Dali’s work at London’s Tate Gallery in my early 20s, including the lobster on the phone, which I thought was odd but thought little of it at the time. Equally, his more famous ‘Metamorphosis Of Narcissus’ now does make a little more sense now from reading what Aguer writes here. I think what really throws me is the reflections in the water, mostly because there is little attention to angle and light source than straight down. The sun at a different angle would have strengthened the reflections. The hand with the flowering egg also looks like it’s on the edge of the pool because of dog next to it, so why should it have a pool reflection?

Dali was truly eccentric and loved to live up to it in the public eye. His art was designed to make you think and react. I think his message was to understand his own message as much as to make your own interpretation. He also liked to play with illusions. His final works in this book include lips of rubies and pearl teeth in the literal sense. There’s a lot here to like and think about. I also think I’ve learnt a lot as well.

GF Willmetts

January 2018

(pub: Goodman/Carlton Publishing Group, 2014. 88 page illustrated indexed with inserts large hardbook. Price: £30.00 (UK), £24.00 (UK) from their website. ISBN: 978-1-84796-078-8)

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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