Salvador Dali, the prolific Spanish surrealist painter, is making news in death much like he did in life. Dali’s body was recently exhumed and his corpse defiled to prove or disprove that a tarot card reader is his daughter and only heir.
Weird you say but it is in keeping with how the quirky and highly celebrated painter lived - chaotically.
Dali who died at age 84 in 1989 did not only make a name for himself for putting Surrealism on the map. His moustache and eccentric outfits were almost as famous as his flying elephant paintings – a moustache that has survived intact after death according to eyewitnesses at the exhumation.
What is at question is whether the long-rumored homosexual had an affair with his housekeeper while married to his Russian manager-muse Gala and sired an heir to his $460 million fortune. Pira Abel daughter of Dali housekeeper Antonia claims her mother told her Dali was her father. It is something Abel has long-believed and is seeking a DNA test to prove her claims – a court backed up her right to know. Why she is waiting to find out at age 61 is not clear.
This week Dali’s body that rests at his Dali-Theatre Museum in Figueras, Spain was exhumed, where a sample of DNA was taken from his hair (also eerily found in tact), nail and two long bones. The Dali Foundation who is the current owner of his estate comprised of hundreds of pieces of art fought the exhumation and ultimately failed.
The foundation and Abel will find out in September if 25 percent of the estate goes to Abel. Many believe Abel cannot be his heir since Dali was alleged to be adverse to human contact but not to enjoying the life of a voyeur where he and Gala enjoyed an open marriage full of regular orgies that Dali loved to watch.
Dali’s sexual perversions never affected his work. He left behind hundreds of paintings and works of art for the world to enjoy. During his career Dali focused on futurism and cubism before embracing surrealism. Surrealist artists like Dali, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and others “reject the rational in art, and instead aimed to channel the unconscious to unlock the power of imagination.” That concept is evident in Dali’s masterpiece “The Persistence of Memory” and other treasures of the 20th century art world.
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Let the Dead Rest in Peace