Salvador Dalí: Lobsters

“I do not understand why, when I ask for a grilled lobster in a restaurant, I am never served a cooked telephone,” Salvador Dalí famously wrote in his 1942 autobiography The Secret Life of Dalí. Dalí’s obsession with lobsters began seven years prior when he sketched a lobster-telephone hybrid after a trip to New York City. Inspired by the drawing, Dalí quickly produced eleven sculptures of the motif—featuring four red lobsters and seven in white—for the prolific Surrealist collector and poet Edward James, who allegedly used the sculptures as functional telephones in his day-to-day life. In the following decades, Dalí continued to feature lobsters, which he viewed as symbols of erotic pleasure and pain, in his performances, paintings, and prints. For example, when the Surrealist master illustrated the 12 …

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