A Dali mustache is a type of facial hair worn upon the upper lip styled after the famous mustache of artist Salvador Dali. In his later years, Dali’s outrageous personality became as well known as his artwork, and this included an unusual style of dress and his mustache. He typically wore his mustache fairly thin and waxed, styled so that each of the outer tips was pointed upward on either side of his nose. A Dali mustache is typically styled in this way, though since he also wore his mustache in a number of other outrageous ways, it may refer to other styles as well.
Salvador Dali, for whom the Dali mustache is named, was a 20th century Spanish artist whose work in surrealism has influenced numerous artists and other creative individuals since. His work was regarded as powerfully symbolic and influenced by dream imagery, often depicting scenes and objects that lacked permanence and seemed to melt and dissolve. Dali was especially influential for surrealists and Dadaists who create work that is often meant to reflect the bizarre nature of reality. Surrealism is often used to demonstrate the ridiculousness of the world, and so objects are frequently depicted in ways that betray their common meaning or purpose.
A Dali mustache often reflects this concept, as the very mustache itself is typically styled in a way that is meant to appear bizarre or preposterous. Dali himself wore a mustache throughout much of his career and often styled it in a way that was quite striking. Perhaps the most famous example of a Dali mustache is a basic style in which the mustache is kept fairly thin, though grown long. Wax is used to style the mustache, typically upwards either dramatically, creating a point on either side of the nose, or more subtly, to create a crescent shape with the mustache.
Many artists and creative individuals influenced by Dali and surrealism utilize the Dali mustache as a symbol of Dali’s work and of the bizarre. An artist might create a work that is meant to reflect the absurd nature of artwork and expression by recreating a classic work of art, such as the Mona Lisa and painting a Dali mustache onto the portrait. This not only makes the image ridiculous, but also immediately calls the work of Dali to mind in the viewer. The Dali mustache is among the most famous mustaches within popular culture, and has been utilized by celebrities, artists, and was even used in the paint design of a Delta® airplane.