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I do not take drugsI am drugs This statement was made by the great Spanish painter and member of the surrealist movement Salvador Dali Dali referred to his works as hand-painted dream photographs and claimed that his imagery often came directly from his own dreams Although there is no documented evidence that he did experiment with hallucinogenic drugs his paintings reflect a sort of false reality showing commonplace objects in strange forms Salvador Dali was born on May 11 1904 in Figueres Spain During his childhood he spent much time at the familys summer home in the village of Cadaques where his parents built his first studio As an adult he built a home with his wife Gala in nearby Port Lligat Dali attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid Early awareness of Dalis talent came with his first one-man show held in Barcelona in 1925 Paintings from this time include Dismal Sport in 1929 and Portrait of Paul Eluard in 1929 Paul Eluard was a French poet and writer and a founding member of the surrealist movement Dali became internationally known when three of his paintings were shown in the Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928 The following year Dali held another one-man show in Paris He also joined the Paris Surrealist Group led by Andre Breton the author of The Surrealist ManifestoDali soon became a leader of the Surrealist movement Surrealism was a twentieth-century literary and artistic movement that began in Europe between World War I and World War II The movement attempted to express the subconscious with brilliant imagery and strange similarity of the subject matter His painting The Persistence of Memory completed in 1931 is one of the best known surrealist works It ranks as one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century The strange form in this paintings foreground is based on an image from a 16th century painting The
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