With 101 Life magazine covers to his credit, Philippe Halsman (1906-1979) was one of the leading portrait photographers of his time. In addition to his distinguished career in photojournalism, Halsman was one of the great pioneers of experimental photography, motivated by a profound desire to push this youngest of art forms toward new frontiers by using innovative and unorthodox photographic techniques.
One of Halsman’s favorite subjects was Salvarod Dali, the glittering and controversial painter and theorist with whom the photographer shared a unique friendship and extraordinary professional collaboration that spanned over thirty years. Whenever Dali imagined a photograph so strange that its production seemed impossible, Halsman tried to find the solution, and invariably succeeded.
As Halsman explains in his postface, Dali’s Mustache is the fruit of this marriage of the minds. The jointly conceived and seemingly nonsensical questions and answers reveal the gleeful humor and assumed cynicism for which Dali is famous, while the marvelous and inspired images of Dali’s mustache brilliantly display Halsman’s consummate skill and extraordinary inventiveness as a photographer.