62 of Salvador Dali’s Most Famous Quotes

Salvador Dali Quotes

Salvador Dali was born in 1904. As a child, Dali had an unpleasant relationship with his father who was a disciplinarian. Though the relationship with his father wasn’t pleasant, both of his parents supported him with his artistic talents. His parents created a studio for his art before he even attended any art school. They held at least one exhibit of his charcoal drawings in their home before he got his first public exhibit in 1919 at Municipal Theatre of Figueres.

Shortly after his beloved mother got to see her son’s first public exhibit, breast cancer took her life in 1921. Dali didn’t grow any closer to his father, they continued to have their differences up until his father passed away.

Impressionism, cubism and futurism along with some other styles of art influenced Dali while he attended art school in Madrid and he experimented with these styles. Salvador Dali didn’t attend the school long before they expelled him for supposedly starting a riot and criticizing his teachers. Dali’s first solo exhibit was in 1925 in Barcelona, Spain. Dali is known for his involvement in the Surrealist movement, but in the 1930s his art became more and more grotesque and bizarre. Salvador Dali had many ups and downs in his life, but he lived to be 84 years old before he died of heart failure in 1989.

Salvador Dali Quotes

  1. “Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali
  2. “There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad.” – Salvador Dali
  3. “No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.” – Salvador Dali
  4. “What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.” – Salvador Dalí
  5. “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dali.” – Salvador Dali
  6. “Let the labyrinth of wrinkles be furrowed in my brow with the red-hot iron of my own life, let my hair whiten and my step become vacillating, on condition that I can save the intelligence of my soul.” – Salvador Dali
  7. “An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and has no hair under her arms.” – Salvador Dali, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali
  8. “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” – Salvador Dali
  9. “You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life” – Salvador Dali
  10. “Repulsion is the sentry that guards the gate to all that we most desire.” – Salvador Dalí
  11. “We are all hungry and thirsty for concrete images. Abstract art will have been good for one thing: to restore its exact virginity to figurative art.” – Salvador Dalí
  12. “Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.” – Salvador Dali
  13. “My mother’s death supervened, and this was the greatest blow I had experienced in my life. I worshipped her… I could not resign myself to the loss of a being on whom I counted to make invisible the unavoidable blemishes of my soul.” – Salvador Dali
  14. “It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.” – Salvador Dali
  15. “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” – Salvador Dali
  16. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” – Salvador Dali
  17. “The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret.” – Salvador Dali
  18. “If you understand your painting beforehand, you might as well not paint it.” – Salvador Dalí
  19. “The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents.” – Salvador Dali
  20. “Beauty should be edible, or not at all.” – Salvador Dalí
  21. “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.” – Salvador Dali
  22. “Life is too short to remain unnoticed” – Salvador Dali
  23. “Give me two hours a day of activity, and I’ll take the other twenty two in dreams.” – Salvador Dali
  24. “The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.” – Salvador Dalí
  25. “Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality.” – Salvador Dali
  26. “People love mystery, and that is why they love my paintings.” – Salvador Dalí
  27. “Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you.” – Salvador Dali
  28. “I am not strange. I am just not normal.” – Salvador Dali
  29. “So little of what could happen does happen.” – Salvador Dali
  30. “The reason some portraits don’t look true to life is that some people make no effort to resemble their pictures.” – Salvador Dalí
  31. “Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.” – Salvador Dali
  32. “It’s better to have loved and lost than do forty pounds of laundry a week.” – Salvador Dalí
  33. “I’m much more interested in speaking, or being near people who think the opposite of the things I think, than with people who think the same things that I think.” – Salvador Dali
  34. “One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.” – Salvador Dali
  35. “Knowing how to look is a way of inventing.” – Salvador Dali
  36. “Don’t bother about being modern. Unfortunately, it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.” – Salvador Dalí
  37. “I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.” – Salvador Dali
  38. “I do not understand why, when I ask for grilled lobster in a restaurant, I’m never served a cooked telephone.” – Salvador Dalí
  39. “The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.” – Salvador Dali
  40. “The fact I myself do not understand what my paintings mean while I am painting them does not imply that they are meaningless.” – Salvador Dali
  41. “Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.” – Salvador Dali
  42. “Surrealism is not a movement. It is a latent state of mind perceivable through the powers of dream and nightmare.” – Salvador Dalí
  43. “I have Dalinian thought: the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.” – Salvador Dali
  44. “I want to perceive and understand the hidden powers and laws of things, in order to have them in my power.” – Salvador Dalí
  45. “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” – Salvador Dali
  46. “To be interesting, one has to provoke.” – Salvador Dali
  47. “Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory.” – Salvador Dali
  48. “It’s better to have loved and lost.” – Salvador Dalí
  49. “Wars have never hurt anybody except the people who die.” – Salvador Dali
  50. “When we are asleep in this world, we are awake in another.” – Salvador Dalí
  51. “It is not me who is the clown, but this monstrously cynical and so unconsciously naive society, which plays the game of seriousness in order better to hide its madness.” – Salvador Dali
  52. “Great wine requires a mad man to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make it, and a lover to drink it.” – Salvador Dali
  53. “Let my enemies devour each other.” – Salvador Dali
  54. “I absolutely love life.” – Salvador Dalí
  55. “Democratic societies are unfit for the publication of such thunderous revelations as I am in the habit of making.” – Salvador Dali
  56. “Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums.” – Salvador Dalí
  57. “Everything alters me, but nothing changes me.” – Salvador Dali
  58. “There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.” – Salvador Dali
  59. “I am the first to be surprised and often terrified by the images that I see appear on my canvas.” – Salvador Dali
  60. “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” – Salvador Dalí
  61. “It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning.” – Salvador Dali
  62. “An unpredictable, faithful and objective hazard seems to have systematically singled out my life to make what are normally uneventful incidents violent, phenomenal and memorable.” – Salvador Dalí, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí

See our awesome collection of Michelangelo Quotes and Picasso Quotes

Salvador Dali Video – Dreams of Dali (360 degree video)

If you are a Dali fan, be sure to check out this video. It’s truly incredible and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. You literally get to go INSIDE one of his paintings in a 360 degree immersive experience. I promise you’ve never seen his artwork this way – give it a watch, it’s only a few minutes.

See also: Frida Kahlo’s Quotes


Some of Salvador Dali’s paintings are kind of weird, but those weird paintings reflect his fearlessness, self-expression and his inspiration to the art world. Children and adults alike are both taught of Salvador Dali’s life and his art pieces around the world. There is no doubt that he was an extremely talented and creative man. If you’re an art lover or not, these quotes should bring you giggles, and/or inspiration into your life.

Also, if you enjoyed these quotes, you will probably love Vincent Van Gogh Quotes too – honestly, he is my all time favorite artist.

Image Credit: Carl Van Vechten, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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