Salvador Dali JFK Sculpture Salvador Dali JFK Sculpture Salvador Dali JFK Sculpture

Artist: Salvador Dali
Title: Bust of John F. Kennedy
Medium: Bronze Sculpture with Paper Clips, stamped signature and number inscribed
Year: circa 1965
Edition: 1/6
Size: 12.5 x 7 x 10 inches (not including base)
Price: On Request

Stamped: Gi Bi Esse Verona Italia
Reference: Figure 222 in "Dali Sculptures & Objects: The Hard and the Soft" by Descharnes, page 117

Photograph of Dali with Sculpture (November 1966):

Information on the sculpture from Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Day Sale Catalog May 8th, 2014

This iconoclastic sculpture links two of the twentieth century’s most renowned figures: President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Salvador Dalí. Cast in wax and decorated with paperclips by the artist’s own hand, this bust provocatively blends Pop Art with Surrealism, inciting multiple possible interpretations. The paperclips covering the assassinated politician's features give the bust the appearance of a death mask, evoking the insects that creep across faces elsewhere in Dalí’s oeuvre to signify destruction and metamorphosis. More specifically, the use of stationery material here conjures notions of bureaucracy and power. During Kennedy’s political career, paperclips were also notoriously associated with "Operation Paperclip," a U.S. government program that aimed to bring prominent German scientists to the United States after World War II. Certain conspiracy theorists have ventured that these individuals may perhaps have been linked to Kennedy’s assassination and it is possible that Dalí is referencing these speculations here, utilizing his inimitable artistic approach to play upon the paranoia of the era.

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