In 1927 he performed his military service for nine months, whereupon he traveled to Paris for the first time; here, he met Picasso and joined the group of surrealist painters and writers. In this period he created a few more complex works.
In 1929 he met his model and life companion, Gala. In 1934 he fled Catalonia after the proclamation of the Catalan State.
Dalí had a great interest in photography, and he also contributed to the making of two surrealist movies, An Andalusian Dog and The Golden Age. He made esthetic use of visionary experiences, reinterpretations of memories, psychological and even pathological distortions which, transposed into paintings, received a new meaning.
In 1934, after a conflict with André Breton, the surrealists banished him for breaking the principles of the group. He expressed his great curiosity regarding Lenin and his fascination with Millet’s painting The Angelus. Two years later, he was profoundly affected by the death of Lorca. During his second journey to the United States, he appeared in the Time magazine. In London, Stefan Zweig introduced Dalí to Sigmund Freud.
On his third trip to the Unites States, he created a showcase for the Bonwit-Teller department store, that he later destroyed in a fit of rage after discovering that they had made changes to his original design. This period in Dalí’s life was marked by a serious psychological crisis, but, despite his problems, he acquired international fame.
He published a pamphlet titled “Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and of the Rights of Man to His Own Madness”, to defend his substitution of the head of Venus for the head of a fish in the painting The Dream of Venus, inspired by Botticelli’s painting. He also provided the set design and libretto for a Bacchanale ballet.