Dali was a surrealist painter who based his techniques on what he called "critical paranoia," the exploiting of his own neuroses. He claimed he cultivated paranoid delusions deliberately to make himself a medium for the irrational. He was a individual who was terrified of insects, crossing streets, of trains, boats, and airplanes. He couldn't even buy shoes, because he was afraid to expose his feet in public. He represented his hallucinations with meticulous realism. His draftsmanship equals that of a miniaturist, but he distorts objects grotesquely and places them in unreal dream landscapes. Dali often included the concept of rotting (decomposing) in his works. Persistence of Memory shows limp watches and a strange lump of indefinable flesh. Although metallic, the watches appear to be decomposing. Dali opened the mental windows so that one can feel oneself gliding up toward the wild sky's trap. He was the first to portray the world of dreams that everyone recognized but could not explain, this was his link to Freud. Who but Dali would lecture at the Sobonne with his foot in a pail of milk, or give a press conference with a boiled lobster on his head. "If you play at genius," Dali said, "you become one."