over the years - at the hotel Meurice in Paris, the Ritz in Barcelona, or at Dali's home in Cadeques. To this day, one can still see Fuchs' large Esther statue at Dali's Teatro Museo in Figueras: it greets you as you enter, standing atop the Cadillac which used to ferry Dali and Gala from Cadaques to the Perpignan Railway Station and thence, on to Paris.


     Looking back, in 1976, at his relationship with Dali, Fuchs had come to recognize by this time that Dali was nothing less than his master and teacher in art:
     "Of those who have been and are my own teachers, I must mention... primarily Albert Paris von Gütersloh and Salvador Dali. The ties of friendship that bind me to these two masters of my guild equal the measure of my veneration for the old masters...
     "Dali I was determined to meet from the day I saw a postcard reproduction of one of his paintings. When I made his acquaintance in 1950 at the Raymond Weil Gallery in Paris, where he was having a show of his work at the time, I seemed to be having a long pre-destined, long-cherished, and crucial experience. Our meeting meant as much to me as if I had been given the opportunity to meet Hieronymus Bosch in the Beyond. If there is such a thing as an encounter written in the stars, then that is what Dali and I had.
     "This meeting and others have confirmed my faith that in the practice of art, much that can be communicated and learned has its place. ...Our conversations and exchanges of ideas have certainly helped to mold me as the pupil of these masters...



     "What those encounters brought me I wished to pass on to those who saw the master in myself and were eager to accept what I had to offer them as their teacher. Anyone who has had the occasion these days to survey the movement of Art Phantastique or Art Visionnaire or Fantastic Realism is sure to see that the number of those who have seen and still do see their master in me is not inconsiderable, for the time is coming when apprenticeship and teaching in art will again be customary..."(6)
     During my apprenticeship with Fuchs, he mentioned Dali in many different contexts. Mostly, he stressed the way Dali had opened his eyes, to looking at paintings in a new way. Finally, as my apprenticeship drew to a close in June of 2001, I interviewed Fuchs on a variety of topics. One of our most interesting discussions was his reminiscences of Dali.


VISIONARY REVUE - What was it in Dali's art that initially appealed to you? What drew you to it?
ERNST FUCHS - A sense of erotic obsession, you know? And a very high realistic quality of purely imagined things. I thought it was quite wonderful. Even though I saw just one small reproduction in an American art magazine called Art News, it was wonderful! And then a little postcard from a painting of 1928, and I was convinced - that is the painter who I like best...
VR - Meanwhile, Dali's work was already regarded as passé.
EF - Well, it contradicted the whole concept of Modern Art, of 'l'art pour l'art'. That is the reason why Surrealism wasn't successful in Paris. It was too high brow, litteraire, illustratif, difficile... and it still is. They have no real following there.