Art Attack
circa 1950: Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989) shows off his famous moustache. (Photo by Weegee(Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography/Getty Images)Weegee(Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography—Getty Images)
Art Attack
Salvador Dali wearing an animal skull as a hat. 1950.
Salvador Dali in London with one of his paintings entitled 'The Madonna of Port Lligat', December 1951.
Salvador Dali with his wife Gala at the garden of his home in Cadaques on the Spanish Costa Brava. 1955.
Salvador Dali viewing the camera through a magnifying glass at his home in Cadaques on the Spanish Costa Brava. 1955.
Salvador Dali in a multiple exposure pose at his home in Cadaques on the Spanish Costa Brava. 1955.
Salvador Dali clutches an ornate clock at his home in Cadaques on the Costa Brava, Spain, Jan. 8, 1955.
Salvador Dali, wearing a shantung blazer and a silk tie, holdind a walking-stick, with a small toy gondola as a moustache, Venice 1961.
Salvador Dali in Barcelona, Spain on May 24, 1966.
Salvador Dali wearing a helmet while presenting his first cylindrical chrono-hologram during a press conference in his Spanish apartment, on May 21, 1973.
circa 1950: Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989) shows off his famous moustache. (Photo by Weegee(Art
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See 10 of the Most Surreal Portraits of Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí's first appearance in the pages of TIME came in 1934, with the disclaimer that "pale young people who drink sherry at little tables and decide the latest vogues in art were all finished with surrealism years ago." The word had been coined a decade earlier, and the movement with which Dalí was most associated was seen by some as passé. And yet here came a Spanish artist, by way of Paris, arriving in New York City "with a load of minutely painted canvases to bewilder to eye of logic."

It was immediately clear, the magazine explained, that Dalí was there to make a mark:

Reporters were ushered into his hotel suite which had been prepared as a visual object lesson. In the centre of the room was a small table. On the table was a red plush Catalan liberty cap and a rocking chair. Balanced on the seat of the chair was a yellow shaded table lamp. There were also two six-foot loaves of French bread on the mantelpiece and a banner with a strange device: a white skull, a key, a leaf, a woman's slipper and the letters DALI.

MORE: The 17 Most Influential Mustaches of All Time

Salvador Dali on the cover of TIME magazine, 1934.Salvador Dali on the cover of TIME magazine, 1934. TIME Magazine 

By the time the artist was featured on the magazine's cover in 1936, he had clearly proved his doubters wrong. New York City's Museum of Modern Art was undertaking a major exhibition of surrealist art, including his own, and it was widely acknowledged "surrealism would never have attracted its present attention in the U. S. were it not for a handsome 32-year-old Catalan with a soft voice and a clipped cinemactor's mustache, Salvador Dalí ."

One early definition of Dalí's brand of surrealism, as per TIME, was that it used "distortions of familiar objects." In honor of the anniversary of Dalí's May 11, 1904, birth, here are 10 of the most fittingly surreal portraits of the artist that we could find.

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