Spain produced some of the finest surrealist visual artists, all of whom gravitated to Paris in the twenties. Picasso, although assiduously courted by Andre Breton was never officially part of the movement, however he remained a sympathetic fellow traveller, contributing to Surrealist periodicals and drawing inspiration from Surrealist techniques. Other heavyweights more directly involved were Joan Miro, an important innovator in pictorial automatism; the Surrealist film-maker par excellence Luis Bunuel, and of course the most outrageous Surrealist of them, Salvador Dali.
Although relativity unknown compared to his compatriots OscarDominguez furthered Surrealist automatism by his championing of Decalcomania, which was taken up by many Surrealists; most notably by Max Ernst whose the Europe After The Rain II uses the technique with haunting, unforgettable effect.
Dominguez also painted in the precise, limpid figurative style favoured by Dali and Magritte. One of his most notable works in this manner is the disturbing painting Maquina de coser electro-sexual (The Electro-Sexual Sewing Machine) of 1935, The very title refers back to startling statement from the Ur-Text of Surrealism, Les Chants De Maldoror by the self styled Comte de Lautreamont, ‘As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a operating table.’ In true Surrealist fashion Dominguez makes overt the latent eroticism of such a bizarre juxtaposition. The sinister machinery is reminiscent of similar contraptions found in the early Dada works of Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia and conveys the same message of mechanized hostility and sexual aggression. The menace is heightened by the forbiddingly dark background contrasted with the ivory cloth covering the nude from the shoulders upwards, suggesting sensory deprivation and depersonalizing the woman on the operating table further, making her subject to all manner of violations.
Dominguez also painted a premonitory self portrait in 1931 that showed his deformed arm with blood flowing from sliced veins. Twenty six years Dominguez committed suicide by slitting his wrists after returning home from a party.