Salvador Dalí, the Hybrid Portraits of the 1920s
The life and artworks of Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) are closely interconnected and thoroughly documented. Returning to the hybrid portraits painted by the young artist in the 1920s gives us, on the one hand, the chance to recall a phase in his maturing process which, with few exceptions, is often undervalued by art historians and curators, especially those who are not Spanish. On the other, it can allow us to reaffirm Federico García Lorca’s crucial role in their conception and iconic execution between 1925 and 1927. After the influence of the painter Rafael Barradas from Uruguay, Dalí chose the authoritative model of Picasso, the undisputed master. Encouraged by Luis Buñuel, who had moved to Paris, Dalí visited Picasso in 1926. After that meeting he started to paint multiple heads and self-portraits which include García Lorca’s silhouette. As to avant-garde arts and their porous boundaries, the friendship uniting García Lorca, Buñuel and Dalí was fructuous from the time when they lived at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. In this institution, open to the most original innovations of European culture, certain aesthetic motives emerged which each developed in his own inimitable way: the subject as a mask, the self being the other, the body reduced into pieces of anatomy, putrefied remains, aberrant mix of organic and inorganic stuff.