12 May 2013

The Dalí Museum, Figueres

This will mainly be a post full of photographs because everybody already knows that Salvador Dalí (born as Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech - just a little bit of a mouthful) was a bit of a nutty surrealist who walked a pet aardvark around the streets of Paris and who also once turned up to one of his own exhibitions in a limousine filled with turnips (who knows why?) Again, this post is long-overdue (Figueres... get it? Figures/Figueres? I need to stop with these bad puns, I'm not even American either so I would never say that really) so I do apologise, but at least you're finally getting a cool arty fix! To the pictures!
We also saw a brass bumhole (yes, you read it correctly) on one of the floors which I can't remember if it was a Dalí creation or one by Vallès, but I thought I'd better not put that up here in case I offended anybody, even though the masses have grown accustomed to seeing the deepest, darkest corners of human anatomy whilst they're eating their dinner thanks to the wonder that is Embarassing Bodies.

As well as the brass bumhole, we also saw a lovely exhibition by Antoni Pitxot, an artist that I'd never heard of until visiting this gallery but that I'm glad I discovered because I really like his use of miniscule brushtrokes and stippling to build up colourful representations of things found in nature. I particularly liked his piece shown below in which I presume he used layers upon layers of oil paint to create an almost lifelike replica of a piece of lichen (you could even go as far as to say that I'm likin' the lichen. No? Ok.)
I've always loved Dalí from a young age and I'm really happy that I got to visit the Gala Foundation (Gala was Dalí's wife and consequently was featured in a lot of his paintings and drawings - see the pencil sketch on brown packing paper above), but I realised when I got home that I had never looked up the meaning of any of his paintings and just sort of took titles such as "Soft Self Portrait with Fried Bacon" as standard. There are a lot of interesting symbols in his work such as the crutches (representing the support that we all need) and the infamous melting clocks (demonstrating the irrelevance or the insignificance of time), but the symbols which have always most intrigued me are his long-legged elephants (which, incidentally, I didn't get a photograph of). I decided to research them and found out that they represent the ongoing human struggle to reach a higher place (for example, our expeditions into space or personal experiments to reach a higher consciousness) but always remaining grounded by either gravity, our earthly bodies or social constructs.

I think, taking this analysis into account, to me they signify the age-old statement of always going where you want and doing your own thing, aiming to reach your goals, but never forgetting your roots, which I think is just the perfect summary of my year abroad and has pretty much sealed the deal for me in wanting to eternalise one of these elephants in ink somewhere on my body.

This all got a little bit existential for a brief photo post about my visit to an art gallery, but I fell more in love with Dalí and learned something from it, which is good because they always say that every day's a school day!


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