Art dealer Lauryssens tells the fascinating, intriguing, often unbelievable story of his supposed professional relationship with one of the great Surrealist painters, Salvador Dali. Lauryssen dealt in only one artist - Dali - selling what, most time of the time, were bogus works. Much of Lauryssen's story is as bogus as the fake signed art that filled his workshop/gallery. William Dufris takes us on a tour of Dali's world with vigor and zest. Dufris easily slips into whatever character is speaking - from Dali himself (so convincing with his rolling "r's") to the women of Catalina, local tradesmen, and art collectors. As questionable as this memoir may be, Dufris is the genuine thing - one of the best narrators in the business.
The artworks he sold came from some very shady sources. And he soon discovered that the shadiest source of all was Dalí himself. The more successful Lauryssens became, the closer he got to Dalí's inner circle, until he found himself living next door to the aging artist.
There, while Lauryssens hid from Interpol's detectives, he learned more about Dalí's secret history, the studio of artists who produced his work, and the money-making machine that kept Dalí's extravagant lifestyle afloat long after his creativity began to flounder.
Dalí & I offers a behind-the-scenes view of the commerce and conspiracy that can go hand-in-hand in the art world, written by a man who has been to the top only to discover it was no different than the bottom.
©2008 Stan Lauryssens; (P)2008 Tantor
"Crass, callous, sordid, and cynical - thus, utterly true to the spirit of Dali and a certain bestseller." (Kirkus)
its amazing to learn that anything dali produced from early 1970's on were not done by him at all but actually fully designed and excicuted by people he hired. He would then sign them and sell them as origionals. This includes most all of his religious art work. This means that a huge portion of the work that is constantly displayed in the Dali museum in St Petersburg Florida is a fake...or, the only thing that dali had anything to do with the painting was his signature. Apparently a huge portion of the work was done in Spain by a few artists he hired while he would be back in New York with gala having his famous "sex parties". He would not even see the final paintings untill it they were completed and shipped to him. He would then sign them and give then a crazy name and completely postrationalize the meaning of the painting. It was also astonishing to hear that almost all the lithographs in circulation today, that are not in major museums, are complete fakes.
Fun read, but probably not true.
The author writes too much about Dali's sex life. That info has no value for me and was wasting of my time.
It's not clear if the claim that Dali only signed his work but didn't paint it is based on true research.
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