The first difficulty in reviewing this book is that its subjects, Salvador and Gala Dalí, really were quite unappealing people: self-centered to the point of extreme pathology, greedy, and remarkably philistine. Ian Gibson has revealed their repulsive habits and extravagant excesses in submicroscopic detail. Much that we find objectionable about today’s art scenes in New York, London, Paris, and elsewhere had its outstanding original incarnation in Dalí—above all, unrestrained self-advertisement as a substitute for creative application, such as has made Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, and Jeff Koons, among many others, infamous.

Salvador and Gala Dalí really were quite unappealing people: self-centered to the point of extreme pathology, greedy, and remarkably philistine.

Yet Dalí and the academic Surrealist style he exemplifies remain, for all his many bad...

 
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