This article presents a brief representation and «scandalous» revelations about Dali’s life and his artistic activity in the book «Dali and I» by Stan Lauryssens.
After thorough investigations of the author’s «revelations» and trickeries made by Dali in the article, we came to a conclusion that this is just an unfounded scandalous story, which aims at merely an insatiable desire to make earnings.
Key words: Salvador Dali, «Dali and I», Stan Lauryssens, surrealism, false pictures, scandal story
В статье кратко представляются описания рассказов Стена Лоуриссенса «Дали и я» и «скандальные» открытия о жизни и творческой деятельности Дали.
При тщательном изучении «открытий», совершенных автором, и исходя из статьи о мошенничествах Дали, делаем вывод, что это всего лишь недоказанный скандальный рассказ, в основе которого лежит лишь ненасытное желание стяжения прибыли.
Ключевые слова: Сальвадор Дали, «Дали и я», Стэн Лоуриссенс, сюрреализм, фальшивые картины, скандальная история
Stan Lauryssens is a writer coming from Belgium. He has unique works, the most famous and scandalous of which is «Dali and I» , which was published in 2009 as a story based on real events.
As it is mentioned in the annotation to the book it is a documentary about business relationships between Stan and Salvador Dali.
Stan was occupied with the sale of Dali’s works. He was advertising them to wealthy people and to their friends and family members. Dali’s works were usually sold to this stratum and their surroundings. The author mentions that he sold and resold only Dali’s works. Stan mentions also that he was trying to sell or resell Dali’s works only to one target group. It was the group of wealthy people who wanted to make investments, though most of them were Mafiosi and criminal authorities, whose financial investments had only one intention-money laundering. A state of affairs was established when buying surrealistic works of rather famous Dali was considered a big financial investment or a capital, which in the future would grow more expensive and would bring double or triple income. It is considerable that a great contribution to Dali's works purchase had the author of the book-Stan. He was going round different European countries and towns, meeting the famous and experienced cheese-makers, farmers, state officials as well as criminal authorities of the time.
The author mentions multiple times that during trades he did not wish to either say or hear anything. He only wished to sell the artist's works as many and as expensive as he possibly could. This documentary by Lauryssens reads as if the author tries to present himself as a person seeing the art as a source of business. He makes an impression that he was interested only in the money received for Dali's works. Though we must argue that the sale of the works demands good skills not only in business or advertising field, but also in art, as hardly Stan would be able to represent Salvador Dali's surrealistic works that convincingly without being aware of the nuances of the art. He merely had found nearly all the means by which he could advertise Dali and create conditions for the big sale. To sell the pictures Stan used nearly every possible method: he travelled from town to town, met people of different sphere and professions, sometimes he cheated and made criminal actions, he was capable of selling Dali's works at any hard conditions.
The book «Daly and I» was published in different countries, translated to more than 23 languages.
«Salvador Dali — a genius, or a genius liar?»: with this writing record were published the samples of the book «Dali and I». At first sight a bit unusual, but an intriguing headline, that attracts the reader’s attention. It seems as if it is about falsification of some work by Dali, selling or buying the duplicate. However, the author means nothing of the kind. In this documentary by Stan, it is mentioned multiple times about the duplicates of many of Dali’s works and their sales. Many readers and critics have defined the book as scandalous because the author mentions that most of all those duplicates were done by Dali himself. Moreover, it reads in the book that the author had even sold empty canvases with only the real signature. The author states that today among Dali’s works kept in many museums and private collections there are still present nearly 75 % falsifications or surrealistic works not painted by the author, though with a real signature.
Here was the actual scandal about the book. Dali up to now known to everyone as a genius is presented here as a great liar, who gaining fame and reputation, was selling empty canvases or multiple duplicates.
In the plot of the book, there are many scenes describing how Stan persuades some wealthy person to buy Dali’s pictures convincing them that Dali is a brand like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, that buying Dali’s works is a smart and measured investment of money and that their price will be doubled and trebled after Dali’s death. He mentions also that Dali has signed on about more than 600 empty canvases and papers and sold them. That is Dali was selling his signatures and in the future the purchasers might order some surrealistic works in the same style on those empty canvases, which were already with the official Dali signature. And the canvases were sold now for the double or triple price. Though it is mentioned in the book about this type of falsifications many times, we presume that they have no ground or clear mechanisms to prove it. Perhaps the author aimed at the following: through intriguing rum ours to gain fame and consequently enormous sales of the book and income. It may have happened in reality, but not in that quantity or not with the author’s knowledge.
Many cases of canvas falsifications are known, but in this particular case, the disclosure is that the author himself falsified his works. Stan points that sometimes Dali portrayed the same picture simultaneously, selling them afterward in different towns or countries. In the result, each of them was considered an original, anyhow, it is hard to find out and we believe it is useless.
Besides those, intriguing revelations about Dali’s creative life the author represents also some intriguing and scandalous revelations about Dali’s personal and even sexual life.
In different scenes, the author points out and presents Dali and his friends’ perverted lifestyle. In some scenes, Stan represents Dali being a gay and also a pedophile. This can also be considered a scandalous revelation, which definitely contributed million strong sales of the book. Moreover Stan, considering himself as someone having close links with Dali, sometimes described also scenes from the perverted life of the other famous people surrounding Dali. Among them was mentioned Andy Warhole’s name as well.
In the last chapter of the book the author appears with a sort of self-criticism and a criticism toward Dali and even toward the purchasers of Dal’s works. In one of the scenes, when, having had some failures, after Dali’s death, Stan makes a decision to live a different life, he is having the following talk with his friend Ana:
«…– И тебе не стыдно? Тебе не жаль? — спросила она. — Да. Мне жаль… себя. Мне не жаль моих клиентов. Они получили то, что заслужили. У людей, которые покупают живопись, рассчитывая получить прибыль, полно денег. Они жадные. Они подлые. Они эгоисты. Откуда у них столько денег? Непонятно. Но всем известно, что в основе богатства неизменно лежит преступление. Я мог бы стать миллионером, Ана. Запросто. Ты это знаешь. Возможно, мне следовало доиграть роль подлого, бессердечного и себялюбивого человека до конца. Я забыл об этом. И Дали тоже забыл. Вот почему мы оба остались без гроша…» 
This passage also leaves the reader in vagueness, though here the author attempts a self-cleaning and making some positive impression on the reader. Stan, who previously adored his purchasers, whom he had both business and friendly relationships with, suddenly in the final parts of the story regards all of them as insatiable and mean. We presume that the author attempted again to embellish this «dubious» story with intriguing blocks.
Anyhow, everyone knows that Dali was a differing artist both in character and appearance, sometimes he looked eccentric, sometimes smart, which was typical of other surrealistic authors too. Though we can suggest a hypothesis that these were merely intriguing misuses which aimed at only supporting the author with fame and of course financial resources. In the result the author of the book received an income of millions. In the future, he plans to make the film version of the book, where Al Pachino will embody Dali.
We hope that the book will not leave its negative trace, and Dali and his works will stay in the memory of the art lover society as bright, impressing, mystic and unique as ever...
- Стэн Лоуриссенс. Дали и Я. Пер. С англ. В. С. Сергеевой. – Москва, 2010, 252 стр, ISBN 978-5-17-o49410-1; ISBN 978-5-403-0293-8