“My jewels are a protest against emphasis upon the cost of the materials of jewelry"
Salvador Dali is infamous for his impact as a Surrealist painter, but it is interesting to note, his artistic genius did not stop at the tips of his drying paint brush. He was well known for his eccentric impact on avante garde fashion and innovator of the term "statement jewelry". All his creations whether paintings, furniture, fashion or jewelry, were all forms of a statement and no detail was ever overlooked.
Each stone represented a deeper meaning. For example, rubies were used to represent energy, sapphires tranquility and lapis lazuli for the subconscious mind. His early attempts produced striking, bejeweled translations of his surrealist painting. Hearts bursting open and dripping blood, eyes weeping and melting, sensuous lips, are some subjects he used to recreated his art into forms of Jewelry.
Eye of Time Watch:
Made of blue enamel, diamonds, platinum and cabochon ruby.
“Man cannot escape or change his time. The eye sees the present and the future.”
"Honeycomb Heart" - made of rubies, gold, and diamonds.
“My object is to show the jeweler’s art in true perspective – where the design and craftsmanship are to be valued above the material worth of the gems, as in Renaissance times.” -Dali
In other words, it was important for Dali to emphasize ART above monetary value. Meaning over cost, he wanted the buyer or viewer to think, to appreciate the message behind the Art.
Dali's 1949 Brooch inspired by Mae West's lips.
"Poets of the ages, of all lands, write of ruby lips and teeth like pearls."
Before designing his own jewelry line, he was already a great influencer to avante garde fashion and costume jewlery. Elsa Schiaperelli was a huge fan of Dali and was greatly influenced by his works and the entire Surrealist Movement.
Dali's Starfish brooch was among the nine Dali jewels featured in “Surreal Things” at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Made of pearl, diamonds, rubies and emeralds the pin is designed to wrap around the hand and fingers!
The Dali Museum in Figuero Spain holds a permanent exhibition on Dali Jewelry.