On Alice and Dali
Perhaps it was something about Alice, which Salvador Dali saw in himself that lead to his love of her. Both travelled an extended, byzantine road through the land of dreams. Although unlike Alice, Dali's travels were by means of his art. One could not help but obsess over such a seemingly simple girl like Alice, with her effervescent essence of youth.
Dali first delved into Wonderland with his interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s creation in 1968. The original engraving and 12 heliogravures of original gouaches saw Dali depicting Alice in a form he had used in two engravings he made for Paul Eluard's "Nuit Partagées" in 1935.
A few years passed before a similar depiction of Alice was recreated, stylised as a silver bell by Dali, and released by the Lincoln Mint. But what followed leaves many lovers of Dali, and Alice alike spellbound. Dali's gorgeous bronze sculpture (1977-1984) enhances the design of the bell, and stands at an impressive 36.0 x 17.5 inches. Alice has blossomed, her hands and hair formed into roses, and her skipping rope into twisted cord still frozen in motion above her head. She is a faceless, eternally youthful interpretation of her own adventure through a surreal dreamscape. She is a representation of naiveté in its most beautiful, pure form, bringing the unanswerable logic of a child unharmed through her confusing spell in the looking-glass world. And this masterpiece wouldn't quite be complete if it weren’t for the appearance of one of Dali's most popular symbols the crutch, which Alice is oddly propped up by. This sculpture remains a superb, provocative portrayal of Alice at her finest.
Inspired by the Dali Universe