Street Art Spotter: A Down-to-Earth Artist Reinterprets a Surrealist

David Flores turns derelict walls into hidden treasures. This time, it’s a large-scale portrait of Salvador Dalí.

Jean Dieuzaide’s famous 1951 photograph of Salvador Dalí, “Dalí’ in the Water,” has become instrumental in trying to understand the famed Surrealist as a human being. The black-and-white image features Dalí standing neck-deep in the ocean, his maniacal smile and curled mustache suspended in time. As it turns out, Dalí was terrified of the sea and he’s known for his wild color palettes. Artist David Flores decided to incorporate those elements into his portrait of the artist. 

WHAT: The bright pinks and floral notes stand out among the greys and blacks on the wall. Dalí’s eyes are wide open and they watch you as you walk across the parking lot. His mustache becomes a flower or vice versa. The polka dots in the background are a nod that things are not always as they seem—or are they?

WHO: Flores is a highly gifted artist with big ambitions. Alongside his partner, Olivia Bevilacqua, he turns derelict walls into hidden treasures. This means that any canvas and any subject (living or dead) are fair game. He has painted dignitaries and scholars like Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein. He has memorialized Beastie Boys singer MCA at the site of the band’s former recording studio in Atwater Village. Athletes and artists are also fair game. Johnny Cash eyes you on Sunset Boulevard. 

WHERE: Art store Graphaids on La Cienega Boulevard is a prime place to purchase the finest aerosol cans and street art supplies. It’s fitting that this is where Flores’ large-scale Dalí (who was recently spotted in Woodland Hills) welcomes customers with a knowing glare.

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