Cult classic and collector’s item, Dali’s Mustache is the result of the astonishing artistic collaboration between surrealist Salvador Dalí and experimental photography pioneer Philippe Halsman. Dalí and Halsman were friends as well as professional collaborators for more than three decades.
Subtitled A Photographic Interview, the concept of the book is one short question presented to Dalí, which Dalí answers, followed by a corresponding black-and-white photograph by Halsman. The photographs are intentionally absurd and hilarious. Early editions of this book came with a warning on the back that said “Warning! This book is preposterous.”
Question: "I have the feeling, to have discovered your secret, Salvador. Could it be that you are crazy?"
Answer: "I am certainly saner than the person who bought this book."
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"Warning! This book is preposterous," says the back cover. This collaboration between the flamboyant Spanish painter and the Latvian-born portraitist is also a surrealistic work of art. Halsman understood the extroverted Dali better than any other photographer; their talents and personalities were the perfect complement to each other. In the course of this witty and inventive homage, the artist's celebrated whiskers tie themselves in a knot, are pressed into service as a paintbrush, become the hands of a clock and blemish the face of the Mona Lisa.About the Author:
Philippe Halsman (1906-1979) was born in Latvia and began his photography career in France. In the 1930s, using a twin-reflex camera that he designed himself, Halsman photographed many prominent artists and intellectuals including Le Corbusier, André Gide and Marc Chagall. He moved to the United States with his family in 1940, with assistance from Albert Einstein, who helped the photographer obtain an emergency visa. Halsman spent the next 30 years as one of the most prolific photographers in America. No other photographer ever matched Halsman’s record of 101 cover portraits for LIFE magazine.
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