Salvador Dalí: Artist or kitsch-meister?

Lee Siegel in Slate:

01_breadbasketSalvador Dalí was a truly original artist. From the beginning, he painted real objects and people with a dreamlike precision; later, he would portray the strange shapes of his dreams with a vivid, mundane particularity. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, he painted like a visionary of the unconscious. But today he is dismissed by most critics and scholars as a venal schlock-monger because by 1936, when he appeared on the cover of Time, he had become an indefatigable and playfully self-conscious entrepreneur and self-promoter. Dalí created display windows for Bonwit-Teller; came up with an advertisement in Vogue for Bryans Hosiery; wrote a sensationalist autobiography; fashioned greeting cards for Hallmark; devised a computerized picture of Raquel Welch; made a hologram of Alice Cooper. This shrewd, practical man had once wanted, he irresistibly wrote in 1930, “to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality.” Given this, Dalí’s whirlwind commercial activities seemed appallingly to consecrate the idea of inauthenticity and self-betrayal. Or did they?

More here.