Join me....

I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Do You See What I See?

A visit to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL is a real treat for anyone who loves art.  I had a second visit recently (concurrent with a Picasso exhibit...swoon) and enjoyed it as much the second time around.  This time my husband accompanied me and it was fun to compare notes after we each took a whirl around the beautiful halls.

Do you believe this is by Dali?  It was a piece he completed after four years of art school where he mastered classical painting.  This was done right before he threw the final exam at a teacher and declared the entire faculty incapable of teaching him....whereupon they denied him a certificate of graduation.  Didn't make his Pops too happy but this painting has stayed with me ever since I saw it many years ago.  It seems a long way apart from the dripping clock that is what most folks think of at the mention of his name.

When I talked about "reading" paintings last week I knew that Dali would challenge me with my own words.  He was the master at painting a scene within a scene within a scene which hid a political or philosophical message.  We spent our day at the exhibit deciphering his work and marveling at the variety of his styles and techniques.  But here is a fun one to share with you.  A really gigantic piece:

This was painted in 1976

From this great distance I am pretty certain that you see a portrait of Abe Lincoln, no?

As I moved in a little closer it begins to look pixelated (only that word was not invented "back then").
Actually it is a series of large squares divided up on the canvas, each in a slightly different color.

Here I stand in front of the painting. Now Lincoln is much harder to see and if the color came through a bit better you could clearly see the back of a nude looking out a window onto the ocean while down by the left two separate blocks hold smaller images of both Lincoln and the nude (his wife Gala).

Appropriately the painting is titled: "Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at 20 Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln."  Clever name.  and if that was not enough he added that it was in homage to Mark Rothko (and his use of "color fields").  I cannot even imagine how he went about designing and executing this piece, never mind what made him tie the two things (3?) together.

Seeing his art is only half the fun, most folks remember Dali as quite a character (even appearing in tv commercials and movie bits in the US) and the museum is happy to share some of these personality stories via the guided tour head sets as well as the docents.  So enjoyable!

I could tell you about "The Average Bureaucrat," a painting of a man  (who resembles his father) with an empty head, save but a few seashells, and has no ears.  Relevant?  He painted it in 1930.  So many of his thoughts still so timely and universal to our understanding today.

And remember those dripping, draping clocks that have become the icon of this suited painter?  Well, I learned that they are now referred to (in art parlance) as "soft clocks" and they were devised when he stayed home from a movie one evening and and contemplated the idea of time, why it feels faster or slower, how it is relative and inconsequential both.  Hmmmmm, now you know!

Well worth a trip to my opinion!

Art Fully Yours,

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Wow, Wow! I am adding this to my next visit to south Florida. The Abe Lincoln is too cool. You have such a delightful way to draw in the reader, coax them along and then serve up the "goods." Love it! Johnna


Include your comment below, will forgo the word verification part until I receive spam.