Hear Ye! Hear Ye! A hearty welcome to all of you who have come to witness the second official Zouch Art Fight!
In our first battle we pitted two iconic Impressionists against each other in brutal battle of atrition. This time we’re rolling the timeline forward to the 20th century, and taking a look at the art fighting skills of two LEGENDARY Surealist painters: Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo.
THE TALE OF THE TAPE
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FULL NAME: Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol
BIRTH: Dali was born just months after his older brother had died in infancy. They were both named Salvador.
TRAINING: While his formal education was as a drafstman, his talent for painting grew out of a passion for the work of the Renaissance masters.
SEXINESS: Good at keeping secrets. Some suggest he was a closet homo-sexual, some say he was straight, others claim it’s obvious he was asexual.
REACH: His mustache alone is a central icon from the Surrealist movement.
SPECIAL MOVES: Dali’s paintings suggest obvious meaning on the surface when in reality they are dalliances with insanity straight from the subconscious mind. IOW He’ll fuck up your head.
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FULL NAME: Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón
BIRTH: Throughout her adult life Frida claimed to be 3 years younger than she actually was.
TRAINING: Her mother made her a special easel so she could learn to paint in bed as she recovered from a horrible trolley accident.
SEXINESS: Widely known in her lifetime for having a healthy appetite for sex, with men and woman alike.
REACH: Most hipsters are familiar with her unibrow.
SPECIAL MOVES: Almost all of Khalo’s work is self-portraits where the central focus seems to be on her own eyes. That’s just off-putting, and this creepiness is what makes her a contender.
ROUND ONE: Self-Exploration
Dali had all sorts of photographs taken with him portrayed as some sort of bizarre character just beyond description. But this overt narcissism was never really demonstrated in his paintings.
On the other hand, there’s no denying that one good way to sum up Frida Khalo’s paintings would be to explain that they’re pretty much all about her own face:
Round one goes to Frida Khalo! The narcissism evident in her work has left a mark on popular culture that endures to this day.
ROUND TWO: References In Pop-Culture
In 2002 Hollywood decided to tell the interesting tale of the life of Frida Khalo. The film starred some big-time actors and ended up being a big success at the box office. The critics also agreed that the film was at worst mediocre.
A more recent film starring Robert Pattinson (of Twilight fame) as Dali endeavored to tell the tale of the young life of the artist. Critics panned this one and it completely tanked at the box office.
Frida’s film may have been better, but there’s no denying that Salvador Dali’s name is more well-circulated. He’s even got a Simpsons’ poster dedicated to his work:
So, we’re giving round two to Dali.
ROUND THREE: Weirdness
While Frida Kahlo was capable of some very odd stuff indeed, such as this work called The Little Deer (1946):
Salvador Dali is the guy who went from painting relatively normal scenes such as Woman At The Window (1925):
To works like Galatea of the Spheres (1952) :
And The Hallucinogenic Toreador (1970) :
In fact, in this round we’ve witnessed the first ever knockout in an Art Fight! Honestly, did any of you really think the weirdness of Frida Kahlo could even come close to matching that of Salvador Dali?
“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” – Salvador Dali