That Salvador Dalí became a widely known artist is because he found several points of contact between the arts, creativity and the general public. His extravagance, demonstrated often enough, was an important factor, too. But at a time not quite so devoted to showmanship as is our own, all of this would have been worth nothing without the work in which he displayed the qualities of his personality (be they invented or authentic).

In Dalí, it was impossible to both understand the work and at the time to ask why he was so well known. One need only to see what he did to grasp the reasons for his celebrity.

One element worth considering is a link which Dalí knew how to draw between art and some very simple and significant elements of everyday life. Watches, to name one example, but also certain animals, and a very distinct feeling of loneliness…these, when combined with Dalí’s particular style, caused a rather singular effect. They attract us and set off a sense of astonishment. We discover that life itself is a work of art, amazing and eccentric, always waiting for that moment when we’ll decide to live it and allow ourselves the realization of the false division between art and life, reality and imagination, normality and eccentricity.

Among works that might exemplify this double position between art and existence, one is perhaps less florid than some of Dalí’s other paintings or sculptures, though it is infused with the same spirit. The Wines of Gala is a series of 140 illustrations the artist made under the rubric of wine and its presence throughout history and in our own present. Wine is served at all of the important occasions of life, Dalí remarked at the time.

The book, The Wines of Gala, was published in Paris in 1977, by the Galaxis publishing house. As a publishing project, it was companion volume to Dalí’s Les dîners de Gala, a surrealist “recipe book” published by Felicie a few years earlier (1973), also in the French capital, and which caused a commotion among readers at the time. In the first edition of The Wines of Gala, the artist’s work is flanked by two written contributions, one penned by Max Gérard, Dalí’s friend and accomplice in Surrealist circles. Another was elaborated by Louis Orizet, a viticulturist, and Georges Duboeuf, the famous “King of Beaujolais” who worked to bring the French wine to worldwide recognition.
This second text is perhaps the most playful and stimulating for its classification of ten wines based on their most original and unexpected characteristics. For the states of mind to which they lead, for example, or the solemnity that some deserve when being consumed. The authors even add suggestions as to their consumption and anecdotes associated with the biographies of many of them. “Wines of Aestheticism,” “Wines of Dawn,” “Wines of Frivolity” and “Wines of the Impossible” are just a few of the names which Orizet and Duboeuf coined for their eccentric classifications. Below is their description of the “Wines of Joy.”

Wines of Joy

Beaujolais • Chinon • Bourgueil • Côtes-du-Rhône • Chianti • Volpolicella • Merlot from Ticino • Rioja • Muscadet • Swiss white wines • Green wines from Portugal • Certain wines of California

The wines of joy should be drunk cold (from 9°C to 12°C), as they are expected to be both wines for thirst and for pleasure. As such, they have a vocation as aperitifs, as welcoming wines for a meeting between friends, and they even show themselves as faithful companions in quiet evenings of bridge or television. The range of their use in the art of associating food with wine is very broad. They can thus play at the limits and be served over the same meal. They prepare the palate for the subtleties of the wide bottle, lying in its basket, waiting for the time of roasting or of cheeses; they are wines of initiation, the lifesaving buoy of the profane, the providence of housewives.

Recently the publishing house Taschen republished The Wines of Gala, with the original illustrations and texts, and with an acrostic poem by Philippe de Rothschild as a prologue. In anticipation of the book’s release, El País shared part of Orizet and Duboeuf’s text (in Spanish) from which the excerpt above was translated.

An unusual guide to the world of wine, already complex and full of surprises, The Wines of Gala is perhaps, more than a mere road map. It’s also an invitation to set out on your own – eccentric – explorations.

 

 

Image: 1) Public Domain

That Salvador Dalí became a widely known artist is because he found several points of contact between the arts, creativity and the general public. His extravagance, demonstrated often enough, was an important factor, too. But at a time not quite so devoted to showmanship as is our own, all of this would have been worth nothing without the work in which he displayed the qualities of his personality (be they invented or authentic).

In Dalí, it was impossible to both understand the work and at the time to ask why he was so well known. One need only to see what he did to grasp the reasons for his celebrity.

One element worth considering is a link which Dalí knew how to draw between art and some very simple and significant elements of everyday life. Watches, to name one example, but also certain animals, and a very distinct feeling of loneliness…these, when combined with Dalí’s particular style, caused a rather singular effect. They attract us and set off a sense of astonishment. We discover that life itself is a work of art, amazing and eccentric, always waiting for that moment when we’ll decide to live it and allow ourselves the realization of the false division between art and life, reality and imagination, normality and eccentricity.

Among works that might exemplify this double position between art and existence, one is perhaps less florid than some of Dalí’s other paintings or sculptures, though it is infused with the same spirit. The Wines of Gala is a series of 140 illustrations the artist made under the rubric of wine and its presence throughout history and in our own present. Wine is served at all of the important occasions of life, Dalí remarked at the time.

The book, The Wines of Gala, was published in Paris in 1977, by the Galaxis publishing house. As a publishing project, it was companion volume to Dalí’s Les dîners de Gala, a surrealist “recipe book” published by Felicie a few years earlier (1973), also in the French capital, and which caused a commotion among readers at the time. In the first edition of The Wines of Gala, the artist’s work is flanked by two written contributions, one penned by Max Gérard, Dalí’s friend and accomplice in Surrealist circles. Another was elaborated by Louis Orizet, a viticulturist, and Georges Duboeuf, the famous “King of Beaujolais” who worked to bring the French wine to worldwide recognition.
This second text is perhaps the most playful and stimulating for its classification of ten wines based on their most original and unexpected characteristics. For the states of mind to which they lead, for example, or the solemnity that some deserve when being consumed. The authors even add suggestions as to their consumption and anecdotes associated with the biographies of many of them. “Wines of Aestheticism,” “Wines of Dawn,” “Wines of Frivolity” and “Wines of the Impossible” are just a few of the names which Orizet and Duboeuf coined for their eccentric classifications. Below is their description of the “Wines of Joy.”

Wines of Joy

Beaujolais • Chinon • Bourgueil • Côtes-du-Rhône • Chianti • Volpolicella • Merlot from Ticino • Rioja • Muscadet • Swiss white wines • Green wines from Portugal • Certain wines of California

The wines of joy should be drunk cold (from 9°C to 12°C), as they are expected to be both wines for thirst and for pleasure. As such, they have a vocation as aperitifs, as welcoming wines for a meeting between friends, and they even show themselves as faithful companions in quiet evenings of bridge or television. The range of their use in the art of associating food with wine is very broad. They can thus play at the limits and be served over the same meal. They prepare the palate for the subtleties of the wide bottle, lying in its basket, waiting for the time of roasting or of cheeses; they are wines of initiation, the lifesaving buoy of the profane, the providence of housewives.

Recently the publishing house Taschen republished The Wines of Gala, with the original illustrations and texts, and with an acrostic poem by Philippe de Rothschild as a prologue. In anticipation of the book’s release, El País shared part of Orizet and Duboeuf’s text (in Spanish) from which the excerpt above was translated.

An unusual guide to the world of wine, already complex and full of surprises, The Wines of Gala is perhaps, more than a mere road map. It’s also an invitation to set out on your own – eccentric – explorations.

 

 

Image: 1) Public Domain