Salvador Dali and Brett Whiteley

A compare and contrast artistic analysis of the works of Salvador Dali and Brett Whiteley.

This paper looks briefly at the background of the Spanish painter Salvador Dali and the Australian painter Brett Whiteley, two extraordinary artists from the surrealist movement. It details their artistic influences, views on life and makes an attempt at finding method in their madness. It discusses how it was an ‘insatiable craving for sex’, money and fame that drove Dali to artistic genius, while for Whiteley, it was alcohol and narcotics. It compares and contrasts some of their famous works, their styles and their perceived meanings.
“Dali was a Spanish painter and writer who played a very significant part in the surrealist movement. From youth onwards, he was a very talented and recognized artist, with many of his works being displayed and published. He was an artist whose life was dominated largely by an ‘insatiable craving for sex’, money and fame. Dali was also fascinated with the aspect of death, combined with the popular beliefs of society. Much of his work was based on influences gained from other artists as well as both contemporary philosophy and science. His role models were Goya, El Greco, Durer, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Velaquez. In all, this represented the characteristically wide-ranging nature of Dali’s way of thinking: the comic and the diabolic rub shoulders with serious classicism, with levity and gravity reflected to an equal degree. It was written that Dali uses realistic items to reveal his dream-like ideas. His paintings are executed with infinite care and sometimes depict minute detail… The imaginary things depicted are presented in startling, distorted and fantastic ways, or else in natural, incredible combinations of parts of the human figure in tortured, writhing gestures. ”