Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dali delights with originality, love of landscape, analytical thinking, theatrical sense

Today's Figueres is an average Enropean town, except for the Dali museum.
Dali pushed the envelope, liked layers, analyzed endlessly, admired Freud


WIDELY TRAVELED and celebrated worldwide, Salvador Dali always returned to the sun-streaked villages of rural eastern Spain. He was born and died in Figueres, where he also had his
Dali's playful touches abound, even
on this staircase with its woman.
first art show as a teen-ager. And he chose this town for the showiest of his three Spanish museums.
The land of his birth was familiar and inspiring and Dali never lost his appreciation for the terrain. The sunny, craggy Costa Brava (wild or rugged coast) was particularly appealing to him and his wife and muse, Gala.  She played a huge role in development of three museums maintained by a foundation named after the famous, flamboyant artist.
THE 'TEATRE-Museu Dali" (Dali Theater Museum) is a highlight of Catalonia and eastern Spain.
The Dalis lived several decades
in their beloved Portlligat home.
The Dali House-Museum in Portlligat and Gala Dali Castle House-Museum in Medieval Pubol round out his triangular museum legacy.
Prepare for an intriguing melange of Dali imagery and iconography that can only be
described as fantastic.
In "Atomic Leda," with Gala as the centerpiece, Dali disguised himself as a swan and fills the painting with mythological allusions.
In "The Argonauts," the artist's talent and attention to detail can be seen:  on the foot of one of the Argonauts are wings with gold, rubies and emeralds.
Dali's "Persistence of Memory"
takes on time, mortality and more.
This Dali work is a clever trick -- two and multiple figures.
Depending on where you stand, you see a different painting.
Keller checks out Dali's museum in Figueres, a three-level maze, treasure hunt.
"The Persistence of Memory," perhaps Dali's most famous painting, tackles the weighty issues of time, mortality, the complex issues of being human, and more.  It is not in Spain, but in the Museum of
Modern Art, MoMA, in New York City.  So if you can't cross the pond right now to view Dali's delights, he is represented in the Big Apple, and has his own museum in St. Petersburg, Florida! (Where he also re-visited his famous 1931 "Memory" painting thesis.
AND THE drawers. Dali gave new meaning to "chest of drawers" and his drawers are a metaphor for the many layers and secrets he believed we all possess.  A great admirer of Sigmund Freud, Dali said, "The only difference between immortal Greece and our era is Sigmund Freud who discovered that the human body, which in Greek times was merely neoplatonical, is now filled with secret drawers only to be opened through psychoanalysis."
Dali's museum pays homage
to Mae West in an intricate display.
Drawers reign in Dali's art. They're everywhere.
Mae West's room (Dali was fascinated by the buxom, be-wigged and earthy actress) features the risque actress as only Dali could create her: she's part jewels, part furniture, part paintings.  Her lips are a couch and there's a staircase for viewers to climb and get a new perspective.
THE HUGE, beautiful ceiling in the foyer of the building -- a former theater -- features Dali and Gala flying to heaven, watching their own idyllic burial and boat trip to the next dimension. Wow!
Dali's childhood in Figueres affected in his decision to base his museum here. 
    For splash and dazzle, only a couple other Spanish names vie for the eye appeal: Pablo Picasso, of course, and Antoni Gaudi, who died in 1926 when Dali was not quite a teen. Dali said, "I want my work to be like a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object.
'PEOPLE who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream."
Gaudi, considered an avant garde architect, had his own dream, for he was the magician behind the fabled La Sagrada Familia.  Gaudi's passion for 43 years of e, toil ("The Holy Family") is a curious homage to geometric perfection and sacred symbolism.  Barcelona's eccentric and still-under-construction cathedral is replete with pineapples and an elaborate nativity facade telling the story of Christ's birth and the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
Gaudi's imposing LaSagrada Familia is impossible to miss in Barcelona's skyline.
THE 12 apostles are not yet fully installed, but -- look upwards -- and sometime in the next 20 years, the cathedral patrons hope to complete construction.
What would Dali do with those cranes?
Perhaps he would integrate the last one on the site, maybe in a "sculpture" making use of the crane's natural cross. How could he  resist preserving the crane as the integral part of the project it created. (Then again, what would the Pope think?)
Perhaps Dali and Gaudi
are sharing a sherry in the great "teatre-museum" in the sky.

Between the tiny village of Aiguablava and the larger town
of Dali's youth, Figueres, Spain, are farm land and castles. 
COMING SOON:  Dali's love of light and landscape are shared by many Catalans, who farm, fish and frolic in land that their ancestors have lovingly tended for centuries. Have a look as we drive this lovely corner of Spain, aglow in winter sun with its furrowed fields and castles.
THEN  we visit a first-rate parador named after the most beautiful village in Costa Brava, Aiguablava. Its fantastic food, gorgeous appointments, glowing blue water and backdrop of pine trees make a relaxing yet exciting get-away.  Then back to Barcelona, where we take a closer look at Gaudi's gaudy and extraordinary masterpiece. Remember to explore, learn and live and visit us Wednesdays and Saturdays at: www.whereiscookie.com

1 comment:

  1. Although I don't comment often, I do read your blog and immensely enjoy both the narrative and the photos. The photo on the Dec. 17th edition of the farmland between Aiguablava and Figueres is astounding. And, it was taken on my birthday! Love, love, love this photo.
    Thanks for sharing!