Information on the sculpture from Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Day Sale Catalog May 8th, 2014
This iconoclastic sculpture links two of the twentieth century's most renowned figures: President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Salvador Dali. Cast in wax and decorated with paperclips by the artist's own hand, this bust provocatively blends Pop Art with Surrealism, inciting multiple possible interpretations. The paperclips covering the assassinated politician's features give the bust the appearance of a death mask, evoking the insects that creep across faces elsewhere in Dali's oeuvre to signify destruction and metamorphosis. More specifically, the use of stationery material here conjures notions of bureaucracy and power. During Kennedy's political career, paperclips were also notoriously associated with 'Operation Paperclip,' a U.S. government program that aimed to bring prominent German scientists to the United States after World War II. Certain conspiracy theorists have ventured that these individuals may perhaps have been linked to Kennedy's assassination and it is possible that Dali is referencing these speculations here, utilizing his inimitable artistic approach to play upon the paranoia of the era.

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