Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dalí & I: The Surreal Story by Stan Lauryssens

Dalí & I: The Surreal Story doesn’t lie…it is indeed VERY surreal.  I’m always suspicious when a memoir has this much prose.  I had the same feeling about Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle.  When I think back on my childhood and early life, I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of telling you what the clouds looked like, or what I was thinking at the time or what I ate for breakfast that day.  So, when the author describes landscapes, meals, thoughts, feelings, and conversations from the late 1970’s and 1980’s as if they were yesterday, I hope he kept a thorough diary.  

That being said, I LuRvEd this little book.  It is an up-close, no-holds-barred, can’t-turn-away, train wreck look at the life and work of…well, Stan Lauryssens.  He sold fake Dali artwork for many years and got in a good bit of trouble doing so.  It is not so much what he does, but who he meets over the years that makes this delectable little book float along.  

Um, not for the faint of heart.  We are talking about surrealist art in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s and we are talking about Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, and various other outsiders to any kind of status-quo.  Mr. Lauryssens goes to great lengths not to hide a bit of the outrageous sensibilities, sexualities, and spending sprees of the day, so consider yourself warned.  This is gossip of the juiciest variety.  I have no idea if it’s authorized, but I imagine not.  Some one else can research that.  If Lauryssens is to be believed (or rather, his sources, I suppose) MOST of the Dalí works in existence are fakefakefake, painted by studio assistants while Dalí was…um…occupied.  

Am I the only one in the world who hasn’t heard any of this?  I started reading up on Dalí after I heard Robert Pattinson was portraying a young Dalí in the film Little Ashes.  Now, I think I know a bit more than I cared to but if it ever comes up in conversation I won’t be at a loss, that’s for sure!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The book is fiction for the most part. There are many photographs and much film footage of Dali hand creating works, so the claims that assistants did the work is rediculous. Dali often worked with his publisher and a printer. There are a few direct links to Dali that knew him and watched him work that will argue with claims made in this book. After all, the author is a confessed con-man.