Thursday, October 8, 2009

Salvador Dali

What a weirdo he was, yes?  I finally made it to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It is said to have the biggest and finest collection of Dali's works...outside of Spain, that is.  Statements like that lead me to believe it would be a huge art museum.  In reality, it was much smaller than I was expecting, however, too much Dali might be overwhelming, so it was a perfect size for the amount of work.  There were some small pieces, some measuring in the hundreds of feet.  The museum was arranged in chronological order, which was wonderful to see Dali's progression through styles and themes.  Obsessed with Freud and sexuality, Dali's paintings usually were object heavy, and each object meant something to Dali.  (I won't bore you with an Art History lesson...but it is pretty interesting if you're into that kind of thing.)
My favorite pieces were ones I had never seen before.  One is the painting pictured above : Oeufs sur le plat sans le plat (Eggs on the plate above the plate), 1932.  As one of his earlier surreal paintings, his talent for realistic painted objects is very clear.  The egg is attached and hangs with a weight that is not possible for the object.  The yokes reflect the light from a window which is not seen.  The technique is fantastic...he created a photograph with paints.  

The other painting I really enjoyed is the one pictured below : Sentimental Colloquy, 1944.  Midway through his career, Dali became very popular in all artistic circles.  This painting below is a design he was working on for the New York Ballet.  What?!  Yes.  Pretty crazy stuff.  It's interesting to think of these famous artists being so commercial.  Some artists judge those who do custom work, portraits, mass production, basically anything that's not your heart's yearning desire to express your soul, as not actually doing art or selling out.  Photographers get this a lot.  My response is that Mucha, Lautrec, Michelangelo, and even snobs like Dali did it.  Why can't we?  
Dali used to be my favorite artist.  Then I learned a little more about art.  And now I realize, seeing his paintings up close, that his technique is not flawless (its pretty damn good though...).  I believe there comes a point when an artist becomes so self obsessed that they stop communicating through their art.  Dali got to a point in his art where he kept repeating himself and pushing the envelope just for the purpose of pushing the envelope.  He was brilliant though.  And, the man new how to grow a mustache.  


  1. Blogger totally needs a like button. :)

  2. I bet they were amazing to see in person. Having the paintings in chronological order is so cool, too. I'm glad you got to go!