Great Quotes by Salvador Dalí

Quotes extracted from Calvin Tomkins’ “Marcel Duchamp. The Afternoon Interviews”. Bad Lands Unlimited. 2013.

More Quotes found on this book ordered by topics.


“My first idea, when the Glass was finished, was to have that book made like a Sears and Roebuck catalog, explaining every detail of the Glass” p. 78

“… Words are taken and repeated, and after a certain number of repetitions the word takes on an aura of mysticism, of magic. (…) like publicity. All along it’s the same thing (…) “Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola.” After a while magic appears around Coca-Cola” p. 62


“I don’t believe in art. I believe in the artist” p. 93

” I never had the attitude of the ham actor, which you had to have to be a Dada, because you were onstage performing all the time, reading completely idiotic things. (laughs) And I hated any public appearance.” p. 38

“Art is a habit-forming drug, that’ all it is, for the collector, for the artist, for anybody connected with art”. p. 55

“… an artist may be a real genius today, but if he is spoiled or contaminated by the sea of money around him, his genius will completely melt and become zero”  p.29

“Art for the moment, which doesn’t care about the future or the past. That I think has been characteristic of the whole century, from the Fauves on. And as a result, slow work is considered bad: you must do a painting at the most in an afternoon. Otherwise you’re stupid” p. 44

“… I produced so little, and everything I produced took me quite a long time” p. 45

(ready-made) “So when people find something interesting in what I did, and then use it as a system, I have my little doubt about it. At least I’m conscious of the danger. Anything systematized becomes sterile very soon. There is nothing that has eternal value.” p. 60


“I could live with the worst calendar picture, and with any sort of furniture, because I never put taste in my life. Taste is an experience that I try not to let come into my life. Bad, good, or indifferent, it doesn’t come in. I’m so against interior decorators.” p. 30

“The whole century has had a taste for the miserable, in every way. The eighteenth century had been so refined, and so the reaction went the other way.” p. 90


“The Cubists were old-fashioned static painters.” p.82

“Tradition is the prison in which you live. How can you escape from those pincers?” p. 83

“The education is so strong in every child. It holds them like a chain. That’s what I wanted to avoid, and yet I didn’t completely get free. But I tried to, consciously. I unlearned to draw. I actually had to forget with my hand. ” p. 83


“(chess is) a real competition, man to man. It’s a competition between your mind and his mind. It’s complete – there are no bizarre conclusions like in art, where you can have all kinds of reasoning and conclusions.” p. 41


“… humor played a great role in my life, my God” p. 54

“Because with our eyes we only see two dimensions. We have three dimensions with the sense of touch. (…) Of course from there I went on to the physical act of love, which is also a feeling all around, either as a woman or as a man. Both have fourth-dimensional feelings.” p. 93


“It’s just an illusion of causality. I’ve never believed in causality. Because you light a match and see a fire you consider that a law.” p. 85

“The word law is against my principles” p.85

“– the idea of God being the first one to do everything is another illusion of causality” p.86


“That’s our lot on earth, we have to work to breathe. I don’t see why that’s so admirable. I can conceive of a society where the lazies have a place in the sun. My famous thing was to start a home for the lazies – hospice des paresseux”. p. 86

“… a mother generally gives and never takes from her child except affection. In the family there is more giving than taking. But when you go beyond the concept of the family, you find the need for equivalences.” p. 88

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