The Mae West sofa is a surreal artwork created by Dalí during the 1930s. The sofa or settee, is ruby red in colour and is shaped curvaceously like pair of female lips. Erotic, exotic and shocking, Dalí intended this sculpture to be furniture and to be art.
Dalí remained fascinated by Mae West the Hollywood vaudeville actress born in 1893. She was known for her hourglass figure, her prominent full ruby red lips, and her flirtatious double entendrees.’
Who can forget;
‘To err is human – but it feels divine’.
Dalí said of the Mae West artwork that he did not intend for it to be used as a settee, but as a tribute to the American actress. It is tribute to his artistic brilliance and talent as a furniture designer, that this iconic artwork is still recognized worldwide today, over almost ninety years since it was first created. Various editions of the piece have been created since.
Edward James, the artist’s wealthy British patron, originally commissioned the sofa from Dalí in the 1930s, it was recently reported in the British papers that this piece commissioned by James’ needed to find a buyer, to secure its future in the UK ( for tax and import reasons) . The Uk arts minister, John Glen said in 2017, This iconic piece is considered to be the single most important example of surrealist furniture ever made in Britain. We very much hope that a buyer comes forward to keep this unique item in the UK’. ( Guardian newspaper 17.11.17)
In the Dalí Theatre museum in Figueras, there is a ‘ Mae West ‘ room It is a three- dimensional living room scene installation, with custom built furniture that takes shape as the ‘ face’ of Mae West, when viewed from a certain angle.
The Mae West sofa is an iconic Dalí ’ artwork that continues to inspire and enthrall even today. It is an artwork regularly displayed at Dali Universe exhibitions worldwide.