Dalí´s brand : lots-faces 

Who are you Salvador?

     Dalí personifies Surrealism for a lot of people. We know that Surrealism is not just an art movement; also it’s a way of life, it´s an attitude too. But, Dalí created Surrealism or Surrealism built Dali? It´s difficult separate both concepts.

One of Dalí´s moustaches

One of Dalí´s moustaches

We can see different characters on long Dalí´s life. But sometimes it is impossible to distinguish between each.

Dalí was a surrealist artist but wasn´t a common surrealist. The divergence between surrealist group and Dalí it was a fact. Dalí´s attitude was the reason why French Surrealism throughout Dalí from these French group.

In a chaotic world which was more and more interested in advertising and purchases, Salvador Dalí created a reputation. Dalí introduced himself like a brand. He loved that people talked about him but he didn´t care what people said. Dalí admired the exhibitionism character of advertising and he felt identify with it. He didn’t just want to become a milestone by his pictures, he wanted to find the eternity being an art of work himself. Like good advertising that it remains on costumer mind. To gain a foothold in Medias, Dalí used advertising and public relations strategies. He used to be a polemic person for public opinion. There were people who love him, and people who were sorry for his madness. Dalí built his brand over the eccentricity, the nuisance, and even, the madness. But this attitude didn´t please other surrealist. They didn’t understand Dalí. They refused his love of money. Even Bretón called him and Gala pejoratively: Avida dollars.

 Tzara, Eluard, Bretón, Hans Arp, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst,  Crevel, Man Ray

French Surrealism -1930 : Tzara, Eluard, Bretón, Hans Arp, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst, Crevel, Man Ray


Dalí in the focal point

     If we analyze Dalí when he lived in New York we find a celebrity. During this age Salvador approached to advertising and Medias. But contrary to people think Dalí wasn´t rich. Even sometimes, he didn´t have money for food. Salvador was so busy looking for his new personality. This character was developing at the same time as consume society. Dalí was interested in advertising and he knew how create an excellent publicity. Dalí was enough interesting for Medias. During 1940-1965 almost every day Medias talked about him. And he made an effort to be published in newspaper.


Dalí ´s interview. 1973

Dalí worked hard on his image. His public appearances were pretty deliberates. Dalí understood the importance of distinction from other artists, and he wanted to keep up loyal in his target. He took care of his look. Llongueras, a fashion stylist, designed for Salvador some moustaches and wigs. Dalí analyzed when he had to wear them. Dalí signed all he did, but not just with his signature, even with his styling too. The paranoia and irrationality were his motto.

Dalí ´s interview…again.

The artist had an advertising career. He participated in advertising campaigns in Spain and EEUU. Also Dalí stared in some ads and he posed like a model for few magazines and spots (Lanvin´s chocolates, Braniff´s airline, Datsun´s cars, etc.) Even he created a new logo for Chupa-Chups, a Spanish company.  He designed jar of perfumes and other objects.

Once Salvador Dalí declared that the best professional moment he lived, it was thanks for advertising but when advertising isn’t organized. He believed in the spontaneity.

Dalí-Gala: In love of Surrealism

Love of Gala-Dalí

Gala-Dalí. 1932

   If we talk about Dalí, it isn’t impossible not to name Gala; his muse, his confident. Gala was the woman who got to know the surrealist´s secrets, specifically Dalí ´s secrets. We can find all Gala´s memories in her personal journal that was published in 2011: Gala Dalí. La vida secreta. Diario íntimo (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2011) This diary was discovered at Gala and Dalí´s house: Púbol´s castell, after the death of Dalí. She was one of the reasons why Dalí was ejected by French surrealists.

“En el fondo, no sabes dónde acaba Gala y empieza Dalí”(Polo, Toni  “Gala acaba con la musa de Dalí. Pú  said the philologist, Aguer, when she studied the Gala´s diary. Gala was affected by the artistic torment of Dalí. It wasn’t easy to live with an artist. A lot of historian or art history teachers, like Estrella de Diego, agree Gala played an important role in creation of Dalí. 


Dalí wants to be Dalí

        In spite of Dalí never showed himself without masks, behind all kind of Dalís they could exist, he always was aware that he had worked to find the real Salvador Dalí… his whole life. He declared: “I´m never by myself. I´m in the habit of being always with Salvador Dali. Believe me, it’s an unending party.” (” More Dalí quotes and phrases“,

Behind the Dalí ´s brand always had been the genius: Salvador Dalí.


Referencias de las citas en el artículo :

Polo, Toni (08 de abril de 2011). “Gala acaba con la musa de Dalí. Pú Consultado el 17 de abril de 2013.

Collell Badia, Mercè (Martes, 15 de enero de 2008). ” Salvador Dalí, la creación de un personaje”. Diván el terrible.Psicoánlisis y sociedad. Consultado el 19 de abril de 2013

Webgrafa :, “Gala acaba con la musa de Dalí , 2013 , More Dalí quotes and phrases“, 2012, “Salvador Dalí, la creación de un personaje”, 2013, “Diario de un genio”: Salvador Dalí , 2013


Would Magritte approve?

Has art been an inspiration for advertisers? Has it somehow influenced publicity? Of course. We only have to look through a magazine or watch television to see this. Surrealism, with artists such as Renée Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Man Ray or Joan Miró, is a movement that has greatly influenced different types of art (cinema, painting or music). Some of the elements that characterise Surrealism are the interest in dreams, in dream-like atmospheres or in chance.

One of the artists who have the most influence on advertisers and publicity is Renée Magritte (1898-1967), who painted his way through Dadaism and evolved to Surrealism with influences of other movements such as Cubism, Orphism, Futurism or Impressionism.

In some of his paintings Magritte played with the realist images he painted and a series of words, which created a unusual association. Magritte’s paintings also have a touch of reverie, a daydream quality which define the Magic Realism movement. This type of realism has widely influenced other types of art, for instance advertising.

This is the case of the Volkswagen Polo Blue Motion and Allianz campaigns.

Volkswagen Polo Blue Motion advertising campaign


The agency DDB, which created this advertisement for Volkswagen, reinterpreted Magritte’s piece ‘The Son of Man’. This advertisement represents the “absurdly low” fuel consumption of the car. Magritte’s original painting shows a man in a bowler hat, who becomes a service station attendant with an hourglass instead of the apple as his face.

fils de l'homme

Next to the man in the advert there is a chess game going on where we can see two very different parts: trees on one side and the oil industry on the other. It looks like trees are defeating the industry, since there are many of its pieces out of the game and even falling off the board. There are other elements in the advert that show Magritte’s influence.


For example, the easel next to the chess game may represent another of his paintings, ‘Human Condition’. Through the Volvo shape we can see a blue sky, recurrent in other of Magritte’s paintings. Another element we could find interesting is the bottled oil tanker, which may be trying to convince the buyer that, since the car has a low consumption, it will pollute less.

Allianz advertising campaign

 allianz-magritte-banana-peel-small-96044 allianz-magritte-tile-small-61037

In this case the agency Atletico International Advertising reinterpreted one of Magritte’s most famous works ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ for their campaign for the insurance company Allianz. These images show daily elements that may turn into a threat or danger in our every day lives, such as a banana peel or a roof tile. The object of the campaign is that we need to contract an insurance with Allianz to protect ourselves from these threats. The advertisers are trying to make us see beyond what is in the advert.


The advertisements copy the same style of the original painting. Magritte presents a combination of an image and a sentence and tells us that what we see is not what we think it is: we see a pipe, therefore we think it is a pipe. However, it is not a pipe. It is the representation of a pipe.

It may seem curious that, while Magritte did not intend to sell his paintings using these characteristics, advertising agencies use Magritte’s resources to try and convince potential buyers to buy their products or services.

Natalia Barcelona


Fondation Magritte. Available on 19.04.2013:

Leon Barreto, L. (2012). El realismo mágico de Magritte. Available on 18.04.2013:

Pulido, N. (2009). El realismo mágico de Magritte. Available on 20.04.2013:

Roque, G. La estrategia de Magritte, translated by Guadalupe Nettel. Available on 20.04.2013:

San Gregorio, E. (2012). Renée Magritte y el realismo mágico. Available on 19.04.2013:

terrada. (2012). Esto no es un anuncio de Allianz Seguros. Avaliable on 18.04.2013:

terrada. (2012). Volkswagen, Magritte y Dalí. Available on 18.04.2013:

(2002, last modification 2003). Renée Magritte, 1898-1967. Available on 19.04.2013: