Dali’s Venus (and the Sailor) – “I can too paint sweet” (Upping the Ante on Picasso)

Salvador Dali, “Venus and the Sailor,” 1926

Dali’s Venus (and the Sailor)

Forget the melting clock, encrypted koan–
I can too paint sweet as any know-n–
Picasso thinks he’s cornered beauty, truth,
with thighs so round and faces full of ruth–
(‘Ruth?’ you think, odd word for man of Spain–
Tal vez que “ruthless” is my middle name.)
I’ll show you, Pablo dear, and all the world
that ‘pretty,’ like my mustache deftly curled,
is well within my grasp.  You gasp!
And aim competing curses at my head!
But already this dame’s earned my daily bread.

Here’s a rather silly one for Tess Kincaid’s The Mag 135, intended to a be an internal monologue of Salvador Dali.  I confess that Dali, a surrealist known for his message-filled paintings, clever bravado, and extremely waxed mustache, is not one of my favorite painters.  I find the Venus painting quite beautiful though, and (to me) very reminiscent of some of Picasso’s work with similar “voluminous” and luminous figures. 

Check out Tess’s site, and also my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.  Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

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28 Comments on “Dali’s Venus (and the Sailor) – “I can too paint sweet” (Upping the Ante on Picasso)”

  1. danadampier Says:

    I like the thighs so round… I’ve got some of those too! Thanks Venus for showing that it can be beautiful!

  2. janehewey Says:

    silly and super fun to read on this monday morning. you’ve harnessed an incredibly swift flow and stoutly tangible voice. I can hear it coming from a stage. nice!!

  3. Hahahaa! Do you think they would have cursed each other? Very cute poem, Miss Manic. Unfortunately, both Picasso and Dali fall beyond my appreciation…. The world does not look like that to me, albeit I probably look much like that to the world! More than silly, silly…… thoughtful……

  4. Berowne Says:

    Interesting take on this week’s prompt…

  5. margaretbednar Says:

    …a little competition is good for the sole… and artists, not matter what they say, do care a bit what others think of their work. Fun piece!

  6. jinksy Says:

    Enjoyable concept!

  7. Helen Says:

    Love how you paired the two contemporaries ….

  8. Tess Kincaid Says:

    I laughed out loud at “Ruth” and didn’t stop…well done K…

  9. brian miller Says:

    ha…too funny k…like this much as i was unsure which way you might go next…the round thighs….the ruth…smiles…its fun to think of what this battle royale might produce…smiles.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Of course, they were both Spaniards – and I think both living in France. A woman that I knew was involved with Dali’s exhibition at the New York World’s Fair in the 40’s – she was in it! Crazy! k.

  10. Sue Anderson Says:

    Dali is not a favorite of mine, either, but I do like this one.

    Well done. I had fun reading it.


  11. hedgewitch Says:

    I love this, k. You capture the aspect of Dali I appreciate most–that he was I think in his own mind, an entertainer as much as a painter. I do like lots of his stuff, but I occasionally have to remind myself about the mustache to keep it real.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. The mustache a bit much. I actually like the entertainer aspect too; it’s the visual I find a bit more – not troubling – just not as interesting. He’s a wonderful craftsman, and very clever, but at the end of the day, they sometimes feel very illustrative to me. Although because I’ve never been that interested in him, I really don’t know as much about him as I should. I love the photos! He seems to have such a wonderful sense of humor there, and I really appreciate all of that – but on a visual level – well, I’m afraid I’d definitely side with Pablo. k.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Yes, I agree–I think many of Dali’s pieces, often with extremely long text titles, are not meant primarily as visual art a lot of the time. Not that I’m an expert. I am ambivalent about Picasso, as I really find much of his work beyond my grasp–his more representational works, which I think you’re referencing in your poem by comparing this one of Dali’s, say the most to me–most likely just because I have a more literal mind, I’m afraid.

  12. David King Says:

    And no more than his due, for she’s a dame in a million. Love this. Very cleverly thought out.

  13. Kutamun Says:

    I loveed this Manic, have some bread , i just made some in my bread machine, another “melting clock ” , of sorts. Ruthless Picasso and his cracked lover, he mortgages her and she wavers all over the place, i loved it, thanks

  14. Ravenblack Says:

    I like Dali’s work too. I too think he paints beautiful things, although his more famous painting can be perplexing. I have always had the impression he had this bravado and fun about him. I like his work more than Picasso’s. This poem has his spirit. 🙂

  15. Trellissimo Says:

    Captures their rivalry very nicely.

  16. Besides the mental dialogue, I like that you named the woman in this amazing painting and had some fun with her and her great thighs.

  17. sreeja Says:

    very happy to be here and read this post…….

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