by Salvador Dali
WHEN I WAS three, I wanted to be a cook. When I was six, I wanted to
be Napoleon. Since then my ambition has done nothing but grow.
At the age of 29, I undertook my first American Campaign. On the day
I disembarked in New York, my photograph appeared on the cover of Time
magazine. It showed me wearing the smallest mustache in the world. Since
then the world has shrunk considerably while my mustache, like the power
of my imagination, continued to grow.
Since I don't smoke, I decided to grow a mustache—it is better for the
health. However, I always carried a jewel-studded cigarette case in
which, instead of tobacco, were carefully placed several mustaches,
Adolphe Menjou style. I offered them politely to my friends:
"Mustache? Mustache? Mustache?"
Nobody dared to touch them. This was my test regarding the sacred aspect
In the Bible great significance is attributed to the growth of human
hair. Delila believed in the power of hair; Dali does too. In the 17th
Century, Laporte, the inventor of "Natural Magic," considered
mustaches and eyebrows as antennae susceptible
of capturing creative inspirations, as do antennae of insects whose
instinctive life is more refined. The legendary eyebrows of Plato and,
even more, those of Leonardo da Vinci, almost covering his vision, are
the most renowned testimony to the glory of facial hair.
But it was the 20th Century, in which the most sensational hairy phenomenon
was to occur: that of Salvador Dali's mustache.
Many marvelous and inspirational uses of this mustache are shown in
this book. But every day I find new ones. This very morning, and just
at the moment of not shaving myself, I discovered that my mustache can
serve as an ultra-personal brush. With the points of its hair, I can
paint a fly with all the details of his hair.
And while I am painting my fly, I think philosophically of my mustache,
to which all the flies and all the curiosities of my era came to be
monotonously and irresistibly stuck. Some day perhaps one will discover
a truth almost as strange as this mustache—namely, that Salvador Dali
was possibly also a painter.