Dalí in photos as you’ve never seen before
A new exhibit with almost thirty portraits by Robert Whitaker will be on display for a year
Salvador Dalí. It’s safe to assume that even just reading the name of this surrealist Catalan painter, conjures up a certain image – maybe even several – black and white photographs of a young artist, showing off his waxed, twirling, fantastical mustache. Halsman’s iconic photos are indeed perfect examples of the artist’s creativity, even as a subject. But they’re not the only ones. A new photo exhibit on Dalí shows you even more, with portraits taken by renowned British photographer Robert Whitaker.
On display at the Dalí Museum in the northern town of Figueres, the exhibit opens on May 30, and will run for a year as a temporary installation. Some 27 pieces are featured, all but two capturing the years between 1967 and 1972 in the northern Catalan town of Portlligat. Two, instead, are a freeze-frame of the historic May 1968 in Paris. The photos constitute just a small part of the negatives that the Gala-Dalì Foundation acquired from Whitaker’s son – a staggering 700.
Dalí and Whitaker met in 1967, but their relationship, according to the photographer, started much earlier. It all began when Whitaker’s parents gifted him a book of Dalí’s art. Fascinated, the British photographer cut out, remaking it into a collage. Montse Aguer, director of the Dalì Museums, explained that in each other, the two found a kindred spirit. “They really shared that feeling of provocation, of freedom,” she detailed, “a scenic, ironic, and intelligent feeling through which to view art.”
Robert Whitaker (deceased in 2011) was born in England in 1939 to Australian parents. He’s perhaps most well-known for his iconic photos of the Beatles, as well as the image of the band Cream, which featured on their album cover ‘In Gear.’ His work ran the gamut from photos featured in Vogue magazine, to conflict photojournalism in Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Israel.