Pretty fresh off the presses, decisive news from Spain that’s settled a recent quandary over some highly sought after Surrealist DNA.
You probably read that in July a Madrid judge asked that the corpse of Salvador Dalí be exhumed for purposes befitting who’s-the-daddy episodes of The Jerry Springer Show — a paternity test. To the delight of his embalmer, the late artist emerged from the tomb with his stiffly moulded moustache perfectly intact, and the art and gentile worlds alike waited to know if Dalí begot a tarot card reader claiming more than a resemblance to him for over a decade.
Since 2007 María Pilar Abel Martínez has insisted that she’s the long-lost love child of the Surrealist and his household maid, spawned of a covert tryst during the ’50s. Born around the right time in 1956 and convinced her looks lacked nothing but Dalí’s iconic (and apparently non-biodegradable) facial hair, the working psychic went to court for a quarter of her presumed father’s estate.

María Pilar Abel Martínez, photographed by the Spanish new outlet El Patagónico

Salvador Dalí photographed with a rhinoceros head by Philippe Halsman in 1956, the same year María Pilar Abel Martínez was born

Well, the wait’s over. Probably to the palpable relief of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation that manages the artist’s posthumous affairs, and the major dismay of Abel Martínez, drill bits and bone dust have officially let Dalí rest in peace off the hook.
Decidedly not the father, Dalí will be heading back to his forever home in Figueres, at the Dalí Theatre-Museum. He can resume his surely far out afterlife after the abrupt disturbance, although I’d wager he rather enjoyed the attention. As for Abel Martínez, she didn’t seem to forsee that she won’t be taking any millions to the bank from Christie’s auction block. Yet she, too, has now gotten to enjoy those fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol so aloofly promised.
Emily Catrice
Source: Amy Held, “Exhumation Shows Spanish Woman Not Salvador Dalí’s Daughter, Foundation Says”, NPR Online, 06 September 2017

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