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Born in San Cristóbal de La Laguna on the island of Tenerife, Domínguez spent his youth with his grandmother in Tacoronte and devoted himself to painting at a young age after suffering a serious illness which affected his growth and caused a progressive deformation of his facial bone frame and limbs.
He went to Paris at 21 where he first worked for his father in the central market of Les Halles, and spent his nights diving in cabarets. He then frequented some art schools, and visited galleries and museums.
Domínguez was rapidly attracted by avant-garde painters, notably Yves Tanguy and Pablo Picasso, whose influences were visible in his first works. At 25 he painted a self-portrait full of premonition as he showed himself with a deformed hand and with the veins of his arm cut. He chose to kill himself 27 years later by cutting his veins.
In 1933 Domínguez met André Breton, a theoretician of Surrealism, and Paul Éluard, known as the poet of this movement, and took part a year later in the Surrealist exhibition held in Copenhagen and those of London and Tenerife in 1936.
He took up the Russian-invented technique of decalcomania in 1936, using gouache spread thinly on a sheet of paper or other surface (glass has been used), which is then pressed onto another surface such as a canvas.
Domínguez committed suicide December 31, 1957, by slitting his wrists in the bath. Marie-Laure arranged to have him interred in the Bischoffsheim family mausoleum in the Montparnasse cemetery
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