SELINSGROVE — Artist Francisco Ciccio Poblet, of New York, who was trained as a young boy of 14 by Spanish Surrealist painter Salvador Dali, is returning to the area to discuss his work and show some of his artwork in Selinsgrove and in Lewisburg.
He will be at The Post and Lintel Gallery, 34 S. Market St., Selinsgrove, from 6-8 p.m. April 17. An Art Talk will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Poblet will next be at The Smiling Chameleon Restaurant and Draft House, 235 Market St., Lewisburg, on April 18 from 6-8 p.m.
Francisco’s father, Franco Poblet, was a friend of Dali’s in the 1930s and ’40s, when both moved to New York City from Barcelona, Spain. Dali saw that the young Francisco had a lot of talent, and agreed to mentor him. Francisco would arrive at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, to Dali and his wife Gala’s suite, and would spend countless hours being mentored by this very stern and animated teacher who demanded nothing less than perfection.
“He made the biggest impression on me. If I made a mistake and tried to correct it, he’d take a wide white paint brush, erase everything, and make me start over. He told me that ‘every canvas has a painting inside, it’s there for the creative mind to find it,’” said Poblet.
Dali trained him by replicating the masters and his own work, which is evident in his paintings to this day. Poblet, who is 80 years old and still paints daily, concedes his work is strikingly similar to Dali’s and laughs as he recalls a remark his former teacher once made, wide eyed with his distinct mustache and finger pointing upward. “He told me that I had an ability to be a painter, but said, ‘you’ll never be a Dali. When people see your paintings, they’ll remember me.’”