September 14, 2008

Dalí I do love thee...

The front of the museum

The crazy sculpture (from a few angles) in the center courtyard

A VERY small sampling of Dalí's work

A fun color and ink picture I liked

The remainder of my meal after the museum; I did an entirely typical Spanish meal with Gazpacho, Paella, Sangria & Flan! This is the remains of it...

I found love today. Yes, true love. A deep love…of artwork by Salvador Dalí! I took the train from Barcelona to Figueres, the hometown of the Teatre Museo Dalí. Figueres is about two hours north and a little west of Barcelona which I didn’t know until I was on my way BACK to Barcelona and was realizing just how many people from France were in my car. I swear the entire time I was there as well as my ride there, I had convinced myself that I was going south. At the museum, everything was in Catalan, Spanish, English and French (which was the first time I had seen things in French since arriving to Spain and even this did not trigger something. Neither did the gaggle of French teenagers in for a field trip. Ah, my lack of directional know-how returns to me.) and still I didn’t think about the fact that I might be very close to France (which I found out when I returned to my flat and checked out a map).

Anyhow, aside from thinking I was south and not north, the trip was incredible! The museum was definitely the best I have seen so far and now I understand why it is considered the third most-seen museum in Spain after the Prado in Madrid and the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

Dalí curated the entire museum and everything inside of it is his work with the exception of a half a floor which had some paintings by a couple of other artists. The museum itself is a typical Spanish edifice with a large circular courtyard in the center which has this enormous sculpture in the middle of it which starts with a car on the ground, a figure on top of it, and then what looks like a boat with hanging drops paralyzed by gravity below. It was quite bizarre but I loved it all. Each section of the interior of the museum weaves you around to the next, and every wall of every room is filled with work by this extremely talented artist. Prior to coming today, I didn’t know Dalí did much else except for his well-known surrealist paintings of clocks melting. The museum shows you every aspect of his talents from full oil paintings to jewelry to sculpture to pen & ink drawings to everything in between.

My favorite pieces were actually a full wall with 8x10s of pen & inks whose subjects were varied from melting clocks and grasshoppers (which Dalí was scared of and so these represented “fear”, when you see them crossing the backgrounds paintings and drawings) to gesture drawings to full-detailing of various parts of the body. There was so much to see and take in and I left full in love with the artist and all of the time he put into the museum and his work.

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