Salvador Dalí’s Mohawk Haircut

Salvador Dalí’s “Mohawk.” Photo: Luis Buñuel, 1929.

Long before his famous antenna moustache, Salvador Dalí antagonized those around him by sporting a Mohawk haircut, or so I thought. My “discovery” was made in the early 1980’s when I found a photo of the young surrealist artist published in an obscure punk rock fanzine.

While I don’t remember the name of the diminutive self-published zine, I never forgot the stridently non-conformist look of that defiant artist as he stared at me from out of the past.

At the time I was deeply involved in the cultural insurgency of the LA punk rock scene, and I had already created an influential cover illustration for SLASH Magazine that promoted the radical maverick hair-do, so the photo of the youthful surrealist really struck a chord with me. For years I kicked myself for not having purchased that slapdash xeroxed punk zine, as I never saw the photograph of Dalí published anywhere again.

Over the decades I kept my eyes open for the elusive snapshot, but to no avail. Out of curiosity I conducted a web search for the image, but that also turned up nothing. As chance would have it, while in my local library exploring the shelves for art books, I randomly picked up an interesting volume titled Writers on Artists. When I cracked the hardback open, low and behold… there was my long sought after photograph of Dalí and his “mohawk” haircut… but there was no information about the photo. That would come almost a decade later.

At long last I finally uncovered the truth about that “mohawk” haircut. When in 1929 cinematic surrealist Luis Buñuel and painter Salvador Dalí collaborated on making the surrealistic film Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), that same year they decided to make another surreal movie they would titled L’Age d’Or (Age of Gold). In 1929 while the two were writing the screenplay for Age of Gold, Buñuel took the photograph of Dalí.

Salvador Dalí had shaved his hair off and was balancing a spiny sea urchin on his head when Buñuel took the photo.


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