Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My Descent into Surrealism

I am typing live from Figueres, Spain.  Why am I in Figueres?  There is only one reason to visit Figueres:  the Teatro Dali.  The world's preeminent Salvador Dali museum.

Figueres is a beautiful little city.

That's the central plaza along La Rambla, the main street through town.  But there is only one reason to visit.

Sal.  That is him in the lobby of the Hotel Duran where I am staying.

The reason to visit is Teatro Dali.  It is a local theater that Dali himself converted here in his birth town into his museum.  If you have to ask why there are giant eggs on the roof, then you don't understand surrealism.  (There also is an excellent Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Yes.  Seriously.  St. Petersburg, Florida.)

There was a long line to get in.  And, when you finally got in, it was packed.

I don't think I've ever been in a museum that so crowded.

Fleets of tour buses drop passengers off to tour the museum.  I'm guessing these are day trips up from Barcelona.  But the collection was well worth fighting the crowds to see.

Port Alguer
Such as this.  Dali's "Port Alguer."  This is from his early period when he was doing art that looked like what other people were doing as art.  But that's not what you picture when you think of Salvador Dali, do you?  You picture this.

Soft Self Portrait with Grilled Bacon
Or this.

Or even this.

But there is lots to see at Figueres's Teatro Dali, so let's have a look.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time commenting on the art we're seeing because it's surrealism (for the most part) and there's no explaining.

Othello Dreaming of Venice

I am not being facetious when I say my favorite thing about the above work is the lamp.  Look at it.

It's a small woman with light bulbs for hand.  And the arms are adjustable so you can direct the light.  I want one.  And it's probably the most affordable "art" in all the museum.

Soft Self Portrait with Grilled Bacon
Everybody admires "Soft Self Portrait with Bacon"

This one is so surrealistic that it has human legs.

Oh wait.  Those are my legs reflected in the glass.

 As I said, the crowd was thick.

Cool frame.

You could go up to a viewing platform and see this one through a lens that made it look more face-like, but there was a long line.  And it looked sufficiently face-like as is.

The sculpted model and one of the paintings done from it.

The selfie in front of the sculpted model and one of the paintings done from it.

Mona Lisa with a Dali mustache, because why not?

This was on the ceiling of one of the rooms.  I'm guessing Dali's take on the Sistine Chapel?  Next is Dali's Imperial Violets, dark because it was done on the eve of World War II.

I can't do better than the museum's description:

One thing I loved about the above, which made me "LOL" in the true sense of that phrase, was the title card.  The titles of all works are listed beside each painting in four languages:  Catalan, Spanish, English and French.   This one was titled, as you can see, "Olé".

In every language!  This was in one of my favorite rooms in the museum, the area devoted to Dali's study of the works of Velazquez, particularly Velazquez's masterpiece "La Infanta Margarita of Austria."

Not too far removed.  Not too surrealistic.

Stepping farther away.

OK.  Now this is surrealism.  La Infanta Margarita with her head replaced by a giant pearl.

Dali himself was here.

Yes, he is buried in a crypt in the museum.

The Dali jewels collection was in a separate part of the museum requiring separate admission.  Which I paid.  But that will be for another post.  This one is already too long.

No comments:

Post a Comment