Cool before it was even cool

Remember a song by Fun Lovin’ Criminals “Scooby Snacks”?  The song is basically a lot about what’s cool and I thought now that the expresion which is shouted at some point:

“- Sonny, I need you cool, are you cool?
– I am cool.”
is a perfect summary of the couple of photos I have found here and there.

They are all of Salvador Dali, a prominent Catalan (not Spanish, mind you!) painter, architect known for his surrealistic art. In fact, he was such a personality and such a great artist that he was “cool” before anyone even knew the word and before it was “cool” to be “cool”. Or, in other words: eccentric.

For instance, you may know this famous photo, entitled “Dali Atomicus“, a photo by Philippe Halsman who pictured Salvador Dalí suspended in mid-air. While today this image could easily be replicated in Photoshop, it wasn’t possible in 1948. It actually took 28 takes and a help of 5 assistants to get this image!

Dali Atomicus (1)

A website “Shooting film” describes the process:

The photographer counts: One… His wife Yvonne holds the chair up. Two… The assistants get ready with the water and the cats. Three… The assistants throw the cats from the right and the bucket of water from the left. Four… Salvador Dali jumps… and miliseconds later—Philippe Halsman takes the photo.

After the photo is taken: the photographer goes to the darkroom to develop it; the assistants mop the floor, catch and calm down the cats; Yvonne and Dali rest and wait for yet another shoot. As Halsman wrote in his book Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, “Six hours and twenty-eight throws later, the result satisfied my striving for perfection. (…) My assistants and I were wet, dirty, and near complete exhaustion—only the cats still looked like new“.

You can actually watch the mis-takes on the photos here.

Below you can see Dali hosting a Surrealist party as a fund raiser for displaced European artists.


Other form of entertainment would be a little sport. Like jumping rope.

salvador dali jumping rope

Here’s the artist’s doing a Buddha impression.


Dali also enjoyed pets company. Quite unusual pets, though.
Here’s him with his little kitty, an ocelot….



…and Salvador Dali walking his anteater. Of course.

Salvador dali and his Anteater

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