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The Great Masturbator
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mhoutzager's picture

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Salvador Dali kept this painting for himself until the day he died.

But now you can see it in smoke-filled dorm rooms across the nation. The Great Masturbator is the name of the giant rock in the middle of the painting. It is inspired by Dali's favorite landscape the Alberes hills on the border between Spain and France, and not by a bad acid trip as one might presume.

Of course, being a Dali painting, the rock does have a female torso growing out of it. And even the landscape is sexual, with her mouth suspiciously close to a male figure's package. Weirdness continues as a giant locust grows out of the genitals , a swarm of ants on the locust, etc, etc, etc. Plenty of fodder for rosy-eyed co-eds.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about The Great Masturbator

The Great Masturbator (1929) is a painting by Salvador Dalí executed during the surrealist epoch, and is currently displayed at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.

Description

The center of the painting has a distorted human face in profile looking downwards, based on the shape of a natural rock formation at Cap de Creus along the sea-shore of Catalonia. A similar profile is seen in Dalí's more famous painting of two years later, The Persistence of Memory. A nude female figure (resembling Dalí's then new muse, Gala) rises from the back of the head; this may be the masturbatory fantasy suggested by the title. The woman's mouth is near a thinly clad male crotch, a suggestion that fellatio may take place. The male figure seen only from the waist down has bleeding fresh cuts on his knees. Below the central profile head, on its mouth, is a grasshopper, an insect Dali referred to several times in his writings. A swarm of ants (a popular motif representing sexual anxiety in Dalí's work) gather on the grasshopper's abdomen, as well as on the prone face. In the landscape below, three other figures are arranged, along with an egg (commonly used as a symbol of fertility) and sparse other features. Two of the characters in the landscape are arranged in such a way as to cast a long single shadow, while the other character is seen hurriedly walking into the distance on the peripheries of the canvas. On the back of the central head figure, a formation of two rocks and a potted dry plant can be seen, the pot of the plant placed over the bottom rock while balancing the other rock on top of it in an unrealistic way. This part is thought to represent the escape-of-reality idea found in many of Dalí's other artworks.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about The Great Masturbator.