the subconscious goings-on of a mind filled with anxiety. Paintings like The Great Masturbator and Myself At- The Age Of Ten When / Was The Grasshopper Chi/d — (Castration Comp/ex), excavated a territory of fantasy and fear. Figures and faces melt into bleached-out landscapes shadowed by a
disturbing sense of the peculiar. Dali, for-
example, had a bit of hang-up about grasshoppers. As a child he was fairly fond of
the creature but later developed a phobia. ’The fright which grasshoppers cause me has not diminished since by adolescence,’ he wrote in his autobiography My Secret Life. For Dali, grasshoppers symbolised castration.
And Dali enjoyed a little bit of vrsual trickery. In Salvador Dali’s Optical Illusion, a show of more than 60 works drawn from public and private collections throughout the world his interest in optical teasing is explored.
Dali developed what he called the ’paranoiac critical method’, whereby a painting throws up a number of different images. In Apparition Of Face And Fruit Dish On A Beach, on show at the Dean, a vision of a surreal landscape can also be read as both an image of a dog and a human face. ln Dali’s world, everything is not as it first seems.
Dali was not only a highly prolific artist, he was also highly productive in generating the
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