Dali at the World's Fair: "It is man's right to love women with ecstatic fish heads"
November 5, 2011 6:59 PM Subscribe
Salvador Dali's Dream of Venus, one of the earliest full-scale art installation pieces, raised some eyebrows at the 1939 World's Fair. Visitors entered beneath the spread legs of a woman in high heels to find a grotto featuing Venus, a topless sleeping actress on a red satin bed surrounded by lobsters and champagne bottles. Her dream, visible through the nearby window, included cavorting (again topless) mermaids flapping their rubber fins and playing a woman-shaped piano. Murry Korman took many iconic photos of the spectacle. What few knew was that Dali was engaged in a battle of creative crontol with his sponsor, a rubber tycoon and creator of rubber mermaid tails among other things. Dali would appear on site while the exhibition was being created and snip the tails off of the mermaids (pdf). While he was not around for the opening of his creation, he purportedly hired a plane to drop printed leaflets over New York: "The Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and the Rights of Man to his Own Madness," a protest against efforts to interfere with his vision. [some links NSFW, via]
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