Dali & I: The Surreal Story
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Dali & I: The Surreal Story

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  263 ratings  ·  55 reviews

An extraordinary memoir of fortune, fraud,and the master of modern art

Art dealer Stan Lauryssensmade millions in modern art, buthe soldonly one name: Salvador Dalí. The surrealist painter’s work was a hot commodity for the newly rich, investors, and shady businessmen looking to launder their black-market cash. Stan didn’t mind looking the other way; he just hoped the bu

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 8th 2008 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 1998)
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There is precious little about the artist in this book, and what information there is projects an image of Dali and his wife being art swindlers and worse, that Dali was a child molester. This information is given in the guise of idle gossip among the washed-up celebrities the author socialized with in the 70's, so he provides no proof that any claims are true.
But like I said, there is very little of the book about Dali. Instead, the author writes about his own life selling fake Dalis. This coul...more
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Αν μας ζητούσαν να προσωποποιήσουμε την έννοια του σουρεαλισμού τότε πολύ πιθανόν ο Νταλί ήταν το ιδανικό σύμβολο. Ένας άνθρωπος που προκάλεσε και απασχόλησε με την τέχνη του αλλά και με την προσωπική του ζωή. Ένας άνθρωπος του οποίου η σεξουαλική δραστηριότητα, οι ιδιαιτερότητές του αλλά και οι καλλιτεχνικές του απάτες συζητήθηκαν όσο λίγες. Ένας άνθρωπος, σύμβολο της τέχνης που ωστόσο δεν την αντιμετώπισε ως αναγκαιότητα έκφρασης αλλά, ως ένα μέσο κερδοφορίας το οποίο θα του επέτρεπε να ζει έν...more
Indeed surreal, not only Dali's art, but his life in this book, his strange ways and his godly behaviour. I really wonder if this is how he was. The book is completely constructed about anecdotes and stories about Dali, about whose life I knew very little to be honest.
Razvan Zamfirescu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2 year old Stan Lauryssens was working in a Belgian cheese factory when he was asked to write for Panorama magazine (the editor had heard him recite some of his poetry). He became the “Hollywood correspondent. Even though the magazine had no funds to send him to California, Stan wrote articles about and interviews with celebrities as if he had actually talked to them. After writing an article about Salvador Dalí, Stan received an offer from MMC (Money Management Counselors) to head up their art...more

"Art dealer Stan Lauryssens made millions in modern art, but he sold only one name: Salvador Dalí. The surrealist painter’s work was a hot commodity for the newly rich, investors, and shady businessmen looking to launder their black-market cash. Stan didn’t mind looking the other way; he just hoped the buyers would look the other way as well. The artworks he sold came from some very questionable sources, but he soon discovered that the shadiest source of all was Dalí himself. The more...more
Almost twenty years after his death the inexplicable life and works of Salvador Dali are still a mystery. And con-men continue to make financial gains by using his name.

In Dali & I, Stan Lauryssens may well be continuing the tradition.

I wanted to quit reading this book about 30 pages in because it is so badly written. Unless you’re a fan of excessive lists in place of sentences:

“…far outsold superstars Warren Beatty, Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen, and even Elizab...more
It is surprising that the author of this supposedly non fiction book received the Hercules Poirot prize, an award of which there is not much to find on the internet. The style of writing is very basic and some of the sentence structure is awkward at best.

With respect to the content I must admit that from the moment the author wrote that he fabricated celebrity interviews he lost me. From that point on I kept comparing this book with the much better written 'Catch me if you can'. Just like that i...more
Good authors can write a story with an unsympathetic narrator that you can't stop reading despite not liking the main character. This is not one of those stories. These are Stan Lauryssen's memoirs of his time as an art dealer selling fake Salvador Dalí artwork. Lauryssens has the dubious distinction of writing a book about himself in which he comes across as a total scumbag, while purporting not to know that he was a total scumbag. He spends much of the book gleefully passing off photocopies an...more
This is a light-hearted tour of corruption in the high end of the art market. Is it all true?

I like the author's conversational style. Too bad for him that he hadn't found his literary calling earlier. One thing the book is, is fun and light. Perfect for the plane, the beach or a rainy day.

It's hard to believe that a butcher has so much money in a vase, but maybe butchering is more lucrative in Europe. Hard to believe that people would buy a museum piece -- sort of like buying the Brooklyn Bridg...more
That Dali you like may actually be a "Dali"

First, the people who criticize the flow of the book? The man's Belgian; English is not his first language.

That said, this was an interesting book.

Stan Lauryssens may or may not have a conscience now, per some people not enamored of this book. That shouldn't stop you from a good read, a good read about both the lies of the art-investment world and the chutzpah of Salvador Dali.

The last first. Lauryssens indicates that Dali's paintings only reflected a t...more
I believe I read three-fourths or so of the book before I realized the book was a memoir, a work of non-fiction. I acquired the book in through an early reviewer program. The program did not provide genre, category information. The story sounded interesting from the little information given, and so I requested the book.

The author has written fiction, and it is something of a compliment, in my own mind, that I didn't realize quickly that I was reading a memoir. That I was fooled into thinking I...more
I liked it, and not because I've ever been a fan of Dali. I've never understood his repetitious and bizarre themes. The fact that he was a fake of the highest of highs gets me off the hook for my distaste of him and his art. I guess the book is true. The author does his best to let us in on Dali, his employee’s deceptions and the author’s part in that deception. A lot of people were involved in the ruse, and a lot of adoration was given to Dali who rewarded them with very little if any rather mo...more
Tommy Bat-Blog Brookshire
If you check my reading list you'll see that I totally love Art Books, especially Artist Biographies. But, this book was sort of a let-down. Don't get me wrong, it's well written & actually an OK book. But the part that sort of ruins the book ( for me ) is that it's mostly about the Author. Which wouldn't be so bad, I mean he has a lot to say about Salvadore Dali, but the thing is that the Author was involved in the famous "Fake Dali Art Print Scandal". In other words, the Author is a total...more
It was somewhat difficult to emphathize with the author's plight. I didn't feel overly sympathetic that he made millions screwing over investors. Often Lauryssens 1) blamed his marks (Afterall, his 'investors' made their money ripping others off and so may have deserved what was done unto them.) and 2)Dali was fake faking his own work (the artist ripping off the world before Lauryssens followed suite). However, an overall arching theme throughout the book that bears greater consideration: what i...more
This was a very interesting look at the art world. A memoir of an art dealer that deals exclusively with Dali, this book was very revealing about Dali's eccentricities and the underground economics that propelled the art world in the 70's and 80's. I bought this book after viewing the Dali Art and Film exhibit at MoMA and it was an excellent complement. I was taken aback by how commercial Dali was in exploiting his works for his own greed (or rather to support his outlandish, bestial lifestyle)....more
Cathoir Germain
Het boek is te lezen, maar valt heel veel op dezelfde feiten! Heb het niet volledig uitgelezen. Misschien later!
Dali is a Surreal Artist and surreal life.
Sherry Leffert
I found this book very interesting. I didn't know much about Dali before this. It's hard to know how much about him is true and i think the author could have spared us some of the details of Dali's debauchery over and over. Once he we got the idea, I think it would have been enough. I thought his tone was amazingly forthright. I wondered how much about Dali was true, it all seemed so fantastic. I recommend this book though, especially for the Dali lovers. I loved the descriptions of northern Spa...more
Don't read this book if you're looking to get a lot of information about Dali. Granted, there is some really interesting stuff about him in this book, but that's not what this book is about. The author may have taken advantage of Dali-mania by making his book appear to be about Dali, but then again, the author has always made his living by taking advantage of Dali-mania. And that's what's fascinating. Lauryssens gives a really great depiction of the underbelly of the art world and his story is e...more
The artist that I worship came out a moneyminded, sex maniac fraud. And I'm not quite sure if that makes the book good or bad but I wont rely on a single book and just change my mind acording to that... there are many other books about Dali and a lot to discover. So should you read it? yes but just dont trust untill you have a lot of knowledge to decide whether he is an artist to be admired or he is the one who got payed for thousands of work he didnt even signed...
While I question how much of this book is actually true, it sure is a ripping read. Not so much a biography of Dali as the story of the guy who forged a lot of his paintings. While on the run for his crimes, he decides the best place to hide is right next door to Dali in Port Ligat. Many of the revelations are surprising. I may have enjoyed it more because I have actually been to Cadaques. It paints a fairly pathetic portrait of Dali, the artist as an old man.
Jecka Marie
I'm not sure I believe anything this guy has to say but an interesting story, I guess.
Sindy Parker
My favorite artist... now that I have read this I am not sure if I could admire him as a person. Very disturbed person. I can understand the drawings and art work that Dali has produced. I still love his work, but wondering if I should have read this. Read it if you would like to have an understanding of Dali's artwork. How they came to be what they are.
Dali is absolutely one of my fauvorite surrealists and I was astonished by his life, described in even more exciting and disgusting way, than it truly was. I really enjoyed the way, book was written and how author explored even the most unpleasantly demanded facts, which were true on the other hand. Higly recommending t everyone, who loves his work!
Dalí es alguien a quien le he tenido una profunda admiración. Leer este libro fue decepcionante en cierto grado, pero también reforzó mi admiración de un hombre que hizo siempre lo que quiso de su vida, sin ataduras y de casi nadie se puede decir eso en la historia. Para mí leer este libro fue conocer mejor a Dalí y eso es algo invaluable.
When I got this book, I was excited, because I like art and take classes at school, and I wanted to learn some stuff about Dali. But it took me so long to get into the book, and then while some parts were interesting, most of it was kind of boring. So it's just okay, but not something I would own if I hadn't gotten it for free
The savage tale of Dali's spectacular global art-scam, as told by a Belgian dealer who made a fortune - and went to jail - selling Dali to rich idiots as an investment. The scope of the fraud is staggering, and goes far beyond those infamous warehouses stacked to the ceilings with signed print paper. Excellent!
Hopefully this book reads better on the page than it does aloud. So far, I cannot stand the narrator's voice!

Progress after a few CDs: I still hate the narrator's voice. I also really do not like the writer or his writing style.

Memoirs written by smug low-lifes fail to capture my attention.
Always a fan of surrealist art and art in general, I wanted to know more about the bizarre life of Dali. I wasn't prepared to receive so much information. I am so skeptical of the veracity of facts as told by a confessed criminal. This a quick read, thankfully and I would not recommend it.
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