Salvador Dali Plush

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Salvador Dali Little Thinker

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Children are natural-born surrealists. They call Christmas ornaments “apples,” sketch your portrait in a way that makes you look like a serial killer, and take every available opportunity to drag Crayola Crayons across random walls in the house. And is it merely a coincidence that their first word is often “dada?” (Get it? “Dada?” Not funny? Okay, moving on).

The point is: when everyone else is reminding your child to color within the lines, wouldn’t it be nice to teach him or her that some of history’s most memorable artists were actually lauded for following their own unorthodox ideas about art?

Long before the birth of Count von Count, easily Sesame Street’s creepiest and most erudite muppet, there was an even more macabre goth genius: Salvador Dali. The mustached madman turned the art world upside down with his melting clocks, ballerina skulls, and burning giraffes. Basically, anything that ever appeared in a child’s nightmare could be found on a Dali canvas.

Introduce your child to the original anything-goes artist by giving him or her a cuddly Salvador Dali 11-inch plush doll, part of the Unemployed Philosophers Guild “Little Thinkers” series. Wearing black pants, a red satin jacket, black cape, and his signature mustache, the doll isn’t just a toy—it’s a conversation starter.

And if a few years have passed since your undergrad art 101 class and you need some help explaining to your child the meaning of “dislocation” and “paranoiac-critical method,” this slightly disturbing video, narrated entirely by children, might help:

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