80+ Surreal Salvador Dali Quotes

Salvador Dali Quotes

Salvador Dali, an enigmatic figure whose boundless imagination and surrealist genius redefined the world of art, left a remarkable legacy that transcends his iconic melting clocks. As one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Dali’s life was as vibrant, eccentric, and surreal as the paintings he created. Born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech displayed an innate talent for art from a young age. He would later study at the prestigious San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, where he developed a style that would forever change the landscape of modern art.

From his early works to his later explorations of nuclear mysticism, Dali’s contributions to the art world have left a lasting impact. His mastery of the surreal captured the subconscious mind, creating a visual language that resonated with the collective psyche. As we explore his most poignant quotes, we invite you to dive deeper into the dreamscapes of Salvador Dali and discover the profound insights that continue to captivate and inspire us all.

Dali’s importance extends far beyond his striking visuals and innovative techniques. His thought-provoking statements on life, art, and the human experience offer a glimpse into the mind of a creative genius. In this blog post, we delve into some of the most memorable Salvador Dali quotes, unearthing the wisdom and wit that inspired countless artists, dreamers, and thinkers alike.

Some of the quotes appear in the following video:

Table of Contents

Salvador Dali Quotes On Surrealism

Repulsion is the sentry that guards the gate to all that we most desire.


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


Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.


Since I don’t smoke, I decided to grow a mustache – it is better for the health.


Knowing how to look is a way of inventing.


The one and only thing the world will never have enough of is outrageous.


There is just one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.


I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality.


I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dali…


Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums.


Let the labyrinth of the wrinkles be furrowed in my brow with red-hot iron of my very own life, let my hair whiten and my step becomes vacillating, on condition that I can save the intelligence of my soul.


Nothing proves the truth of surrealism so much as photography. The Zeiss lens has unexpected faculties of surprise!


The difference between me and the surrealists is that I am a surrealist.


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.


Paranoiac-critical activity makes the world of delirium pass onto the plane of reality.

Salvador Dali Quotes On Dreams

One day it will be officially admitted that what we have Christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.


Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.


I want to perceive and understand the hidden powers and laws of things, in order to have them in my power.


To gaze is to think.


You have to create confusion systematically; it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life.


At the age of six, I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.


No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.


The two greatest strokes of luck that can happen to a painter are: to be Spanish, and to be called Dali.


If I’m going to be anything more than average, if anyone is going to remember me, then I need to go further, in art, in life, in everything!


In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob.


It is only good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always and always the first handicap to any creative functioning.


The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents.


Democratic societies are pretty unfit for the publication of such thunderous revelations as I am in the habit of making.

Salvador Dali Quotes On Love and Life

I absolutely love life.


Let my enemies devour each other.


It’s better to have loved and lost than have forty pounds of laundry a week.


Everything that is contradictory creates life.


Forever will be you and me.


Beauty should be edible, or not at all.


Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali…


Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.


I seated ugliness on my knee, and almost immediately grew tired of it.


For me, love must be ugly, looks must be divine, and death must be beautiful.


Man cannot change or escape his time. The eye sees the present and the future.


Where, if not in my own town, should the most extravagant and solid of my work endure, where if not here? The Municipal Theatre, or what remained of it, struck me as very appropriate.


Everything alters me, but nothing changes me.


I am not strange. I am just not normal.


I love my enemies when they are intelligent as much as I hate the stupid ones who defend me.


I’m going to live forever. Geniuses don’t die.


Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly.


Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.


It is not me who is the clown, but the monstrously cynical and so unconsciously naive society, which plays the game of seriousness in order better to hide its madness.


The connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes its secrets.


Life is too short to remain unnoticed.


There are days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.


Whoever wants to engage people’s interest must provoke them.


So little of what could happen does happen.


Man cannot change or escape his time. The eye sees the present and the future.


I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.


Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy, the joy of being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things is this Salvador Dalí going to accomplish today?


When we are asleep in this world, we are awake in another.


I have always been an anarchist and a monarchist.

Salvador Dali Quotes on Art and Painting

It is mostly with your blood, Gala that I paint my pictures.


It is either easy or impossible.


Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters.


Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you.


A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.


The true painter must be able, with the most usual things, to have the most unusual ideas.


The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret.


What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.


Drawing is the honesty of the art.


If you understand your painting beforehand; you might as well not paint it.


The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.


Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality.


I do not paint a portrait to make it look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.


We are all hungry and thirsty for concrete images. Abstract art will have been good for one thing: to restore its exact virginity to figurative art.


I myself do not understand what my paintings mean while I am painting them; does not imply that they are meaningless.


Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.


People love mystery, and that is why they love my paintings.


God is just another artist, like me.


All of my knowledge, of both science and religion, I incorporate into the classical tradition of my painting.


I am the first to be surprised and often terrified by the images that I see appear on my canvas.


The reason some portraits don’t look true to life is that some people make no effort to resemble their pictures.


When I paint, the sea roars. Others splash about in the bath.


The true painter must be able, before an infinite panorama, to limit himself to reproducing a single ant.


I always paint those vast sandy expanses that go as far as the eye can see. I don’t know why; I have never been in North Africa. I suppose it’s an atavism of the Arab blood.

Interesting Facts about Salvador Dali

After you’ve enjoyed the brilliant mind of the artist, here are some interesting facts about Salvador Dali that may surprise you.

  1. Reincarnation of His Brother – Dali was always a unique character, just like his paintings and art. Among his strange beliefs, he was certain that he was the reincarnation of this brother. Nine months before Dali was born, his older brother who was also called Salvador died from a stomach infection. Dali’s parents named Dali after his older brother, and because they looked similar, they told him at the age of 5 that he was the reincarnation of his brother that he was his reincarnation. This had a great psychological impact on him and it is shown in his works and paintings as well.
  2. Dali Didn’t Pay His Restaurant Bills – It’s not because the food and wine was “on the house”, but because Dali had a different idea in mind. After hosting extravagant dinners for himself and a few friends, Dali would write out a cheque, but then scribble some kind of drawing on the back of the cheque. Because nobody wanted to pass up the chance to own a Dali original, most of the times, the restaurants preferred to leave the cheque as is and not cash it.
  3. Dali Owned an Ocelot – We already said that Dali was a unique character, so it’s only natural that he’ll have a unique pet. He owned an ocelot named Babou. One time, he even took it with him to a restaurant in Manhattan where some people got real frightened.
  4. Being Expelled from The Surrealist Movement – Dali was a defining figure of surrealism, yet he got himself expelled from the movement. The irony, right? He was in feud with André Breton who at the time was the leader of the Surrealist movement and even glorified Hitler’s Germany. This left no choice for the group but to expel Dali from the movement. With that said, his works were still part of their exhibitions even though he was not part of the group.
  5. Suffering from Depression – When Dali was 76 years old, he was diagnosed with a motor disorder known as palsy. After that, he lost his ability to paint to the point that he even couldn’t hold a brush. The illness along with his violent attitude to his open marriage with Gala (his wife), later on her death and his inability to create art left Dali in deep depression.

For more quotes from famous artists, please visit our pages dedicated to Charlie Chaplin quotes, Leo Tolstoy quotes, Bob Dylan quotes, and Neil Gaiman quotes.

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