Dali – “The Great Masturbator”

This is a self-portrait. The head of Salvador Dali in the painting is depicted in the form of a rock near his house, the artist used this image in works dated later 1929.

In the painting, Dali portrayed his fear and disgust that he felt for sex. El Salvador blamed his father in part for this attitude towards sex. As a very young child, he often came across his father’s illustrated books on venereal diseases.

The head in the picture is depicted as “soft”, as if it would flow from even the slightest touch, eyes are closed, blush on cheeks. Locusts clung under their noses, the belly of which is covered with ants, they crawled over the face and crawl in the place where the mouth should be. The fact is that from early childhood Dali had a phobia: he was afraid of locusts and, at the sight of at least one, he was seized by a terrible fear, from which he was speechless.

To the right of the head is the face of a woman reaching for the male womb. The man’s legs are bleeding, thus the artist implicitly expresses the fear of castration.

Supporting the sexual theme, Dali depicted a lily and a lion’s tongue under the pair.

The picture caused strange feelings in me. At the first glance, disgust, and at the second too … Thinking, I paid tribute to Dali’s courage. He exposed his deepest fears, and who doesn’t? But do many have the courage to admit them? Sometimes we ourselves are not aware of our own insecurity. We suppress the passions that tear us apart from the inside, and we breed phobias in ourselves.

Year of painting: 1929.

The dimensions of the painting are 110 x 150 cm.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: symbolic painting.

Style: surrealism.

Gallery: Reina Sofia Center for the Arts, Madrid, Spain.

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