I used to think that I liked Salvador Dali but I was wrong. I love Dali.
Growing up I had Moment of Explosion hanging on the wall over my bed and was fascinated by Dali’s clocks series. That was really the only exposure I had to him and had no idea that he dabbled with so many mediums and that he had so many distinct periods in his career. At this point when I look at art, it is hard to be blown away. With the internet and tons of art work easily at our disposal, most of us have been exposed to a wide range of artists and may feel like we have seen it all. Going to the museum, I was completely blown away.
Dali was born in small Catolonian town, Figueres which is almost at the French border. Feraz and I took a two or three hour train from Barcleona to make the pilgrimage to his birth place and the home of one of the largest and best collections of Dali’s work in the world. Dali was known as an eccentric and egocentric man. I don’t fault him for being that way. He was brilliant. If I was that brilliant and that good at my art, I would do whatever the hell I wanted to do too and not be ashamed to admit that I was a pretty sweet human being. (Self-loathing is so bourgeois, no?) From Wikipedia: Dalí, a colorful and imposing presence in his ever-present long cape, walking stick, haughty expression, and upturned waxed mustache, was famous for having said that “Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí.” That is how we should all feel about ourselves!
Before he died, Dali decided to make the Dali Theatre and Museum. I have read some criticisms of this being an extremely egotistical act but the man knew what he was doing. He created a masterpiece made of all this masterpieces! He was able to customize his legacy, instead of leaving this huge responsibility to people who could never understand the way he saw the world. The museum is different from any other I have ever been in. It has a great sense of humor and as I went to each new section I was amazed by the extreme range of Dali’s talent.
If you are in Spain, I would definitely recommend making the trip out to Figueres. It will be your one opportunity for you to experience Dali’s art just as he intended it to be experienced.