Why Buy a Dali Print?
Collectors often imagine what it must have been like to have been around during the time of Pablo Picasso and have the opportunity to buy one of his works. But it takes more than opportunity; it takes vision and the courage to move ahead among one’s own doubts. Even the great Reynolds Morse, who went on a buying spree of Salvador Dali Paintings, beginning the 1940’s, questioned himself. He need not wonder any longer. His collection that is now the Salvador Dali Museum in Saint Petersburg. It can be conservatively estimated to be worth one half of a billion dollars.
No artist of our time has rivaled the intellectual curiosity and pictorial punch of Dali. There has simply been no one with such penetrating vision and precision technique.
Many consider Dali the most prolific, inventive and provocative artist of the 20th century; art and history books now rightly accord him iconic status as one of the most important artists of any era. The best part is that owning a Dali is a possibility in our time.
As a long-time Dali historian, someone who met Salvador Dali and worked alongside Reynolds Morse at his first inception of the Dali Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, I have dedicated 40 years of my life to the study and appreciation of his genius. My passion for Dali was born when I began to attain a grasp of how his extraordinary ideas could be communicated with his highly-refined draughtsmanship. It is only Dali who can make the most fantastic and impossible ideas, those reserved for dreams, seem real. Perhaps this is why he once said, “I paint photographs of my dreams.”
I have a small but wonderful collection of Dali works and it seems that every time I look at these works I discover something new in them, or perhaps it is something in me. Nevertheless, the meaning for me changes as my life progresses. It seems almost like a well-executed plan on the part of Dali that you must live with his work for years to fully comprehend its meaning.
Like most collectors who buy and sell artwork, I cannot afford to buy an original Dali oil painting; such works have now surpassed the double-digit millions. Yet owning a genuine print by Dali, a fine hand-signed Dali lithograph or etching, is to share the genius and mystique of the artist all the same. Owning and living with Dali works is a statement about one’s own taste and personality. Dali was counter-culture and rebellious. His non-conformist ways drew many critics, but it was only because they couldn’t get their head around his work. Now, after years of study, they sit wide-eyed in realization that one of art history’s greatest minds has passed through their midst. Like Reynolds Morse, who collected despite the critics, the Dali collector of today has a non-conformist, rebellious nature. I cannot exactly describe my living with Dali works as joy, but rather as some intangible rush I feel when I gaze upon my collection.
For now, genuine Dali prints are still affordable to buy and offer a marvelous opportunity for someone to own a piece of the artist who revolutionized virtually every corridor of modern art. In fact, some of Dali’s finest works were expressed through the medium of lithography and etching. Consider that with print-making, Dali ventured into territory and technique that simply would have been impossible in the medium of painting. At times he used quite unconventional means to create his print images – from homemade bombs to bullets as well as live snails and the tentacles of a real octopus. A diverse spectrum of subjects, for which Dali was deeply passionate, was approached solely in the print medium and the results are some of his most interesting work.
For those that want to buy or sell a Dali I suggest they reflect on the timelessness of Dali’s work. It was once remarked by Dali that those who lay their eyes on his melting clocks will never forget it for as long as they live. For those that do buy a Dali they become part of a unique collection of art lovers that own a piece of Dali’s mind. To buy a Dali is to buy a part of the surrealist movement. A place like The Salvador Dali Society only sells pristine Dali works. If you come to them to buy a work you will only be met with the most esteemed impressions of Dali’s work. They only sell authenticated works. So why buy Dali? People who buy Dali don’t actually ask this question, they ask; “Why not buy Dali?”. You buy Dali because he represents that artistic part of your mind that only a Spaniard as been able to adequately display with a brush. You buy a Dali because Dali let you into his dreams and magic vision. You buy a Dali because….it’s a Dali.