Art: And Now to Make Masterpieces

The gallery reeked of perfume and rustled with silk and feathers. The extra-heavy cream of Manhattan café society eddied thickly between the walls, slowed to an occasional standstill by the 15 new Salvador Dali oils hanging there. The Flying Giant Demi-Tasse gave them pause; so did the Portrait of Pablo Picasso in the 21st Century — a creature with ram's horns and two tongues, one a foot long.

Dali himself, a man with a delicate handlebar mustache, was as soberly anxious to please as a well-behaved schoolboy at a grownups' party. Modestly, he implied...

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