According to Dali, art should fill all aspects of life. He became interested in furniture after having met Jean Michel Franck, the famous interior decorator. Around 1934-1935, Dali used a
photographic portrait of the actress Mae West, to paint a gouache picture called : The Face of Mae West which may be used as a surrealistic apartment. The painting illustrates his original
plan for a paranoiac-critical room based on the features of her face. Unfortunately the project remained unexecuted until the opening of the Dali Museum in Figueras in 1974. However, during
the 1930s Dali did manage to have several sofas made according to his design.
The one illustrated here was commissioned by the important British patron Edward James, whom Dali described as the 'humming-bird poet' who 'bought the best Dali, and was naturally the
richest'. The sofa is the same colour as the 'Shocking pink' lipstick developed by the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, for whom Dali himself designed hats and dresses in 1937. The sofa's
shape derives not only from Mae West's lips, but also from other sources, including the luxurious curves of Gaudi's architecture. With typical perversity, Dali took his principal inspiration
from a particularly irregular and uncomfortable rocky formation near Cadaques. As he himself said, Surrealist objects were never meant to be practical.