Saturday, March 12, 2011

We Dali a bit

We went to the best museum ever. It is in Figueres, Spain, just across the border from France along the Mediterranean. It is a small town where Salvador Dali grew up. There is a museum there dedicated to his life’s work. He designed the museum after the Civil War. The building was an old theatre where he held his first art show when he was 14 years old. Today, the building is pink with loaves of bread on the side. They aren’t painted on. They are each three dimensional loaves that form a hideous repeating pattern. On top of the building are very large eggs. I believe the message is “Art is rising and that’s no yoke” or maybe “This is eggsactly the place for a leavening experience” but maybe I misunderstood. I shall torment you no longer with my interpretations.

Dali was a character. His art is showcased in two separate buildings. One is the pink building. The other has a full size diver amongst other interestingly dressed people bronzed above the entry. Apparently, Dali was a forerunner at performance art as well and showed up to an art opening in the suit. You can see by the picture that this was not a neoprene, figure-hugging black suit but the old tank helmet Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea type. He also worked with many mediums and not just paint. He sculpted, designed jewelry, buildings, furniture and so on. He even worked with Walt Disney on a short animation that was never released.

His Surrealist art must have coined the term. It is beyond bizarre and really looks like he enjoyed drugs quite a bit. However, when asked if he did drugs he replied, “I am a drug. Take me.” Gotta love him. He must have been a hell of a great party guest. His house is also a must-see. It is about an hour away on the coast. Sadly, it was closed until mid-March so we were four days too early. It has a swimming pool where wild orgiastic parties were held. This upholds my party guy theory.

His body is buried in the museum under a Cadillac taxi behind which is a large stack of tires with a boat on top. You can see it in the two pictures above. If you drop a coin in the slot by the Cadillac, it will rain inside the vehicle. I just dare you to come up with the interpretation of that one. Did I mention the blue condoms hanging from underneath the boat? There is no layout for his museum and no guide. When he designed the museum he said there were two kinds of people, those who needed no description and those who aren't worth a description. So we are left to interpret the pieces on our own.

We saw a room filled with original Dali oil paintings, many of his wife, Gala and her breasts. Another interesting room was the living room set up as a tribute to Mae West. Her eyes are paintings on the wall, her nose is a fireplace and her lips are a couch. Her hair is the curtains at the entry. You climb some stairs to view it.

There were many other bizarre art pieces but one of our favourites was the jeweled heart that actually beat. We took a video for you. While we browsed the giftshop, Rhys picked up a pair of lips, a Cadillac taxi and a pencil to stack together and said, “I’m a Dali expert”. I think that sums it up nicely.

2 comments:

maryanncart@shaw.ca said...

What a GRAND way to start your exploration of Spain! Loved reading and seeing the pictures. How are Julia and Rhys processing this? Loved Rhys' comment! Love Mom

Mynnette said...

Spectacular!I look forward to each blog and enjoying and learning and wondering how we could have miss so much! Hugs- Mynnette