ON HOW SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS WERE MADE (OF INTEREST CHIEFLY TO
fotoğrafı (Cover Picture) -This photograph was made some years
before the rest of the pictures in the book-as is quite evident
from the Kaiseresque aspects of Dan's mustache at the time. Halsman
had made a three-quarter view of Dali's face, as can be readily
discovered by covering the left half of the photograph. In the printing,
Halsman reversed the negative for one-half the exposure. Don't ask
us how he covered up the other half. Dali fell so much in love with
this picture that when the mayor of Malaga, Spain, asked him for
permission to build a statue of him, Dali gave this picture as the
model to be used. A three-dimensional effigy was built, 30 feet
high, showing his face on both sides. It was erected in the public
square, and then burned on March 10th, 1954, in honor of St. Macarius.
- ("in order to pass unobserved") - This was made as a
regular portrait. Before printing the negative, Halsman painted
out the face with New Coccine, a red chemical which, in printing,
can be made to obliterate all detail on the negative.
- ("Like two erect sentries my mustache defends the entrance
to my real self") - This is a blow-up of a relatively small
portion of the negative. This might be the best place to note that
for most of the pictures in the book, Dali made up his mustache
with Hungarian Mustache Wax. Halsman adds that it is obtainable
in the United States at two stores, whose names and addresses we
do not know.
- ("No problem is too knotty for me") - Halsman insists
that Dali himself tied the how. Again a tribute to the versatility
of Dali and the Hungarian Mustache Wax. The finished print was pasted
on Dali's personal passport. Both Uali and Halsman disclaim having
anything to do with the question mark over the subject's head, which
was evidently filled in by a passport clerk who became confused
in the presence of a great artist.
- ("No analyst could ever take me lying down") - Since
Halsman has no analyst's couch in his studio, poor Dali had to lie
on the floor. Halsman lowered his Rolleiflex, focused on Dali's
nostrils, and set off the Strobe lights.
- ("A gentlemen never discusses figures") - A photograph
showing the superb cooperation between Hungarian Mustache Wax, a
wink, a well-coordinated series of Strobe lights and a dash of Surrealism.
- ("Because I love art") - On the finished print, Halsman
laid two spotting brushes over Dali's mustache, and surrounded the
picture with silver coins. Then he re-photographed the print.
- This is double printing. First, Halsman made a negative of some
graph paper, which he printed in his enlarger. Then, on the same
piece of paper, he made a very weak exposure of Dali's face, giving
some extra exposure time to the mustache alone. In case this puzzles
you, consult one of your amateur photographer friends.
- ("No, I am completely mobile") - Watch this closely.
Since Dali's mustache is touching his right eyebrow, Halsman cut
the mustache and eyebrow out of the print. Then he cut out the eye,
attaching it with thin wire to the eyebrow. Then he hung this mobile
from another wire in his study. (There must be some easier way of
making a living.)
-("Disorder") - A closeup of Dali's mustache, uncombed
and minus the Hunagarian Mustache Wax.
-("Harmony") - Showing what happend when the Hungarian
Mustache Wax was re-applied. (Special research note: The ancient
Greeks considered the logarithmic spiral as a symbol of perfect
- ("Well, I have a few minor inner conflicts") - Again,
your attention please: When Halsman took Picture No. 7, he made
a number of exposures. He double-printed two, in order to show one
Dali mustache fencing with another Dali mustache. (Are you still
with us?) Then he cut out the mouth of another photograph of Dali,
being careful to leave a few teeth on both the upper and lower jaws.
In order to give depth, the fencing-mustache print was placed about
a foot behind the photograph of the now mouthless Dali print, with
the camera focused on the fencing mustaches. (It's things like these
which have delayed publication of this book for months.)
- ("Providing the right honey for the right fly at the right
time and place") - This is the only photograph in which Dali's
mustache is not 100% genuine. By the time the weather grew warm
enough for Mrs. Halsman to capture and bring home the large manure
fly, Dali had left for Europe. Dali, however, had been forehanded
enough to construct a hair replica of his mustache, and applied
his beloved Hungarian Mustache Wax to it. Halsman glued the fly
to the Ersatz mustache, and placed it in front of part of the first
portrait in this book. Then he and Mrs. Halsman spent hours pouring
the right amount of honey at the right time on the right part of
the mustache and shooting the picture when the drop of honey formed
at the right place.
- ("I'm always fishing for compliments") - We wondered
about this one too. It was readily explained by the photographer:
no weight attached to the end of the string.
- ("Only one thing: Swiss cheese") - Note to non-cheese
eaters: If you try this, use imported Swiss cheese. The holes in
variety are too small.
- ("From the point of view of hair on the face, there has been
a steady decline") - Marx, Engels, and Lenin were photographed
out of an old French encyclopedia. The head of Stalin comes from
Margaret Bourke-White's hook, Shooting the Russian War, and is reproduced
with her permission. Malenkov was more expensive. His photograph
was purchased from a photographic agency. Each of the pictures were
printed approximately the same size, pasted on white circular cardboard,
and hung from Dan's mustache. A spotlight was focused on the Communist
leaders, leaving Dali's chin and forehead in comparative gloom.
- ("She bends") - Made by de-waxing, a few brush strokes,
and a General Electric fan.
- ("My hairspring, of course") - After having photographed
tens of thousands of faces, Halsman became convinced that the textbooks
are right: each face is subdivided into three parts-forehead, nose
and chin. Problem? How to place the axis of the mustache smack in
the middle. This was solved by an exercise in progressive photographic
distortions. First Halsman enlarged a photograph of Dali's face
by distorting the image in the enlarger. This did not produce enough
distortion, and he next photographed this enlargement at a distorted
angle. This second negative was then further distorted in the enlarger.
This whole process was repeated once more-with the resultant appearance
of Dali's circular face that we see looking down from above. The
watch numerals were photographed from an old watch dial, which again
had to be distorted to fit Dali's distorted face. Question: Is it
22 1/2 minutes to three or quarter past seven?
- ("A paragon of beauty") - And here is an exercise in
semivandalism. It's Mona Lisa all right, but how did those eyes,
that mustache, those strange hands, and those coins creep in? Answer:
First, Halsman asked Dali to pose, looking like Mona Lisa. From
the finished enlargement, he cut out the eyes and mustache, and
pasted them on a reproduction of Leonardo's immortal masterpiece.
Problem: The Mona Lisa painting had some perpendicular cracks. With
a fine pen, Halsman drew in cracks to correspond. (What do we mean-semivandalism?)
Then about those hairy hands-and here we go into a real by-path.
One of the photographs that we unfortunately were unable to include
in this book, was a portrait of the Spanish maestro with a $10,000
bill hung on each side of his mustache. Two $10,000 bills were borrowed
from the Bankers Trust Company and sent to Halsman with an armed
guard who had his revolver exposed in a holster. He scared the Halsman
household half to death. The two $10,000 bills were photographed
in Dali's hands for the Mona Lisa picture. When the proofs were
ready, they were sent for O.K. to the Secret Service Branch of the
Treasury Department. No soap, they said-their point being that even
though the large bills were discreetly folded to prevent photographic
forgery, nevertheless the Federal law was discouragingly explicit.
Too bad, for we rather liked the caption for the $10,000 bills draped
on Dali's mustache. It was to have been: "Is your mustache
insured?" By the time refusal came from the Treasury Department,
Dali had gone abroad. In the final photograph, substitution was
made of silver coins, and of Halsman's instead of Dali's hands [Publisher's
note: The law has been changed and the present edition includes
the original photograph].
- ("Certainly. I personally indulge in atomic explosions")
- In order to take this picture of Dali under water, Halsman ordered
a special aquarium, 1 foot deep and 1/2 feet long, with a transparent
bottom. Dali took off his tie, and looked at the water-filled aquarium,
with the expression of a man being led to execution. Halsman wondered
whether Dali would be able to open his eyes under water. He asked
Dali: "Do you swim?" "Why," answered Dali-his
voice breaking-"Is there any danger?" Now what about that
atomic-looking explosion? This was made with milk which Dali had
thoughtfully concealed in his mouth and squirted out when the Strobe
lights went off.
- Halsman and Dali were discussing McCarthyism when the Strobe light
accidentally went off.