The Turbulent Love Story That Salvador Dalí Kept Secret Until His Death
November 24, 2017|Sara Araujo
Sometimes the most unusual love stories are the ones kept in secrecy.
The art world is full of love stories that often become an important source of inspiration for all kinds of creations. Some of them are pretty self-explanatory, and the clearest examples happen in the music industry, where the fact that a guy sings to a girl he loves leaves no room for imagination. But there’s also the exception to the rule, when we have literally no idea who was the muse for specific artwork. Explicit or not, all creations inspired by any kind of love are equally beautiful.
There is also another type of love chronicles that we may never heard of, and actually turn out to be pretty interesting and relevant to the art world. Those are stories that, for a while, were kept hidden, but with the passing of years, these tales resurface, telling a side of history we didn't know until now. Such is the case of Salvador Dalí, the well-known surreal and quirky artist, and his controversial relationship with the Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca.
Dalí and García Lorca met in Madrid, in 1923, along with the filmmaker Luis Buñuel and the famous writer, Pepín Bello. All four of them formed a strong friendship during their student years while they lived at the Residencia de Estudiantes. But the bond between Dalí and García Lorca had been strongly rumored to be something more than just friendship. It all began when Lorca first saw Dalí and was amazed by his unconventional style of dress, while Dalí admired the “poetic phenomenon” of Lorca. Their relationship lasted, with all its ups and downs, until Lorca’s assassination in 1936.
Besides the artistic partnership, the link gave rise to an intense exchange of passionate letters. In 1928, Dalí wrote to Lorca:
“You are a Christian storm and you are in need of some of my paganism […] I will go get you and give you some seaside medicine. It will be winter and we will light a fire. The poor beasts will be trembling with the cold. You will recall that you are an inventor of marvelous things and we will live together with a portrait machine…”
During the following years the two Spanish legends kept in touch, but Dalí never gave into Lorca’s attempts to change the nature of their relationship. It seemed like something secret was going on, and in a way, García Lorca didn’t mind to share whatever was going on between them with world. On the other hand, Dalí wasn’t sure about saying out loud any sensitive information about them.
During an interview held in 1969, Dalí said:
“He was homosexual, as everyone knows, and madly in love with me. He tried to screw me twice… I was extremely annoyed, because I wasn’t homosexual, and I wasn’t interested in giving in. Besides, it hurts. So nothing came of it. But I felt awfully flattered vis-à-vis the prestige. Deep down I felt that he was a great poet and that I owe him a tiny bit of the Divine Dalí’s asshole.”
We surely can’t expect much sense from a letter coming from this man. Nevertheless, the way they wrote each other was particularly odd, so it was quite hard to deny there was something there, even if the artist said otherwise. Then, what actually happened between these talented men? We will never know for sure. But one thing’s true: love was there. In their letters, in their relationship, no matter how complicated it could get, they showed that, somehow, they loved and admired each other.
We know that Dalí constantly represented his troubled mind in twisted forms of art. So, we can only expect that at least one of his pieces was inspired by his bond with Lorca. But as mysterious as he was, Dalí didn’t leave any clear evidence of this being actually true. However, after Gala’s death (Dalí’s wife) in 1989, the troubled artist got really depressed and stopped eating, and near the end, while he was being treated at the hospital due to heart failure, one of the nurses that cared for him heard him saying: “My friend Lorca.”
You might also enjoy reading: