We’ve Never Talked About How Salvador Dali Stuffed A Rolls-Royce With Cauliflower

Jan 9, 2019

So Jalopnik HQ had a momentary debate today on the merits of cooking, which eventually turned to the subject of what vegetable is best, which got us thinking about cauliflower—and, you know what, I realised we’ve never discussed Salvador Dalí stuffing a Rolls-Royce full of cauliflower and calling it art.

Dalí had some very terrible qualities (supporting Franco and all of those rape cases being among them), and maybe that should’ve been obvious to whomever witnessed this, uh, thing the artist did in the mid-1950s, which Time described in the Dec. 26, 1955, issue as such:

With bedlam in his mind and a quaint profusion of fresh cauliflower in his Rolls-Royce limousine, Spanish-born Surrealist Painter Salvador Dali arrived at Paris’ Sorbonne University to unburden himself of some gibberish. His subject: “Phenomenological Aspects of the Critical Paranoiac Method.” Some 2,000 ecstatic listeners were soon sharing Salvador’s Dalirium. Planting his elbows on a lecture table strewn with bread crumbs, Dali blandly explained: “All emotion comes to me through the elbow.”

Wow! Lots to unpack here. I, for one, don’t particularly feel much emotion from my elbows, other than—I don’t know—displeasure(?) if I have them resting on a table or something for far too long. And the “Phenomenological Aspects of the Critical Paranoiac Method” sure sounds… neat!

The Time article cuts off from there, but luckily Surrealist Stuffing A Rolls With Delicious Cauliflower has made the rounds among the circuit of blogs, and so we have a little more insight as to whatever the hell Dalí was up to, thanks to a spot called Cocktail Cultural Hour:

During the speech, Dali exclaimed to the two thousand listeners in the audience, “Everything departs from the rhinoceros horn! Everything departs from Jan Vermeer’s The Lacemaker! Everything ends up in the cauliflower!

Why was Dalí so about the cauliflower? He reportedly told a journalist a few years after the 1955 lecture that he enjoys their “logarithmic curve.” For sure.

But, anyway, a cauliflower-stuffed Rolls Royce limousine? Nothing much more to report here other than the fascist Dalí did it once. And unless Torch jumped in several years ago with a take on What Cruciferous Vegetable Should You Stuff Your Car With, I’m not aware of Jalopnik ever mentioning it.

But this does raise an important question: is cauliflower the greatest vegetable of all time?

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