Poet of the titles

I’ve always thought that not naming a work of art was either laziness or a cop-out, a way to mystify, a stance against elucidation (left, Salvador Dali’s “Still Life–Fast Moving, 1956).
dali, salvador
(I’m just waiting for the angry emails to come my way from all of you who think words get in the way of the image and who never give your paintings anything but numbers to keep track of which is what. You can make a case, but I think it’s mumbo-jumbo smokescreen obfuscation.)

So when I read Salvador Dali’s fabulous titles at “Dali” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I thought, this guy is an incredible wordsmith, his visual sense of metaphor carried a step further in the playful words by which he names his art.

So here’s my poem made of Salvador Dali titles:



Autumnal Cannibalism
Leda Atomica
The Birth of Liquid Desires
Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity
My Wife Nude, Contemplating her own Flesh Becoming Stairs
…with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on her Shoulder
Accommodations of Desire (above, “Accommodations of Desire,” 1929)

Sometimes I spit with Pleasure on the Portrait of my Mother (The Sacred Heart)


The Birth of Liquid Fears
Fried Egg on the Plate without the Plate
Man of Sickly Complexion Listening to the Sound of the Sea
The Spectre of Sex Appeal
Daddy Longlegs of the Evening…
Andre Breton. The Great Anteater
The Great Masturbator
(above, “My Wife, Nude, Contemplating her own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture,” 1945).


…Alice Cooper’s Brain
Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)
Nostalgia of the Cannibal
Honey is Sweeter than Blood
(above, “First Cilindric Crono-hologram. Portrait of Alice Cooper’s Brain,” 1973).

Two Pieces of Bread Expressing the Sentiment of Love
Transparent Simulacrum of the Feigned Image
The Chemist of Ampurdan in Search of Absolutely Nothing
Still Life–Fast Moving
Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory

Gangsterism and Goofy Visions of New York
Dali …Gala …Eternalized by Six Virtual Corneas Provisionally Reflected in Six Real Mirrors
Goddess Leaning on Her Elbow–Continuum of the Four Buttocks or Five Rhinoceros Horns Making a Virgin or Birth of a Deity
William Tell, Gradiva and the Average Bureaucrat