Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day trip from Barcelona to Figueres to see Dali's Theatre Museum and Jewels Exhibit

Do you recognize this photo? Its Salvador Dali's 'Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea, which if viewed 18 meters away, is an image of Abraham Lincoln. I was recently reminded of this painting in the Dali Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain when I read about Jim Campbell's Scattered Light exhibit in New York City that was partially inspired by this painting. Not to date myself, but I remember seeing this oil painting on a day trip I took to Salvador Dali's museum in 2000 (or was it 2006?)!

I loved this museum because it was fun -- its not one of those museums where you walk in one circle and you're done, rather, all of his work are on multi-levels -- you walk up the stairs to see one piece, and down another set of stairs to see an entirely different type of work. From a viewer's perspective, its very interactive -- I mean, just look at my descriptions of the Abraham Lincoln and Mae West exhibits below. I encourage you to make this trip, that is, if you're interested in Dali's work. If you're not a fan of Dali's, you will be after this trip! I guarantee you won't be disappointed -- it is a trip not to be missed!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces and in my opinion, should NOT BE MISSED at the museum.
  • Abraham Lincoln - this was my absolute favorite! it made me chuckle just seeing this because its one of those "optical illusions" where you stare at an image and then it becomes something else! "its not what it all seems!" info: Gala Nude Watching the Sea which, at a Distance of 20 meters, Turns Into the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Hommage to Rothko), 1976
  • Mae West Room - you walk into this room and you think its randomly decorated with the famous "lips" couch, two eye paintings... and then they ask you to walk up a small series of stairs to view it from above ... and wallah, its a view of Mae West -- it's absolutely wild and fun!

  • Museum's central patio -- there is a cadillac outside and up above in the "windows" you'll see Oscar-like statues of people. You just have to be there to witness the ornateness of the place.
  • The Car-Naval - this is the cadillac that is sitting in the patio. If i remember correctly, you can see some crazy things inside the car as well ; can't remember if you were allowed to sit it in or not; info: Installation with a Cadillac, tire column, reproduction of the slave by Michelangelo, and Gala's boat, together with the Esther Queen by Ernst Fuchs and a reproduction of a marble bust by Fran├žois Girardon.
  • Unknown Piece - I don't recall the name of the piece, but there will be a LOT of PEOPLE staring at the small tiny piece. its encased in a black space, and if you look at it in various directions, you'll see something different. Oh, what was the name! If you go, please send me an email to tell me if you saw it!
In addition to these, there are several other pieces that he is known for, including the bending clocks, the oil paintings that if you look more closely there are miniature people walking, and even a solemn portrait of a girl looking out the window onto the river/ocean (which i believe is also here, or may be a portrait hung at his house in Portlligat Beach.

So start planning your trip! Make sure its open on the day you want to go and I suggest leaving Barcelona EARLY in the morning so you have enough time to see the theater exhibit and the Jewels exhibit (you're there, might as well!) ... and enough time to catch the last train back to Barcelona.

Its relatively easy to get here, all you have to do is take the train to Figueres and walk 12 minutes to the museum. For more information on planning your trip to Figueres, click here to plan your trip.

If you want to spend more than a day here, you can also visit Dali's house in Portlligat Beach; however, you must make reservations to visit the house PRIOR to your arrival. For more information, click here to plan your trip.

side note: A random thought. When I saw the W. Eugene Smith exhibit at the New York Library of Performing Arts last year, there was a photo of Salvador Dali at the exhibit. Think he was with someone "hanging" out around the Jazz performers! Small world!

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

Wonderful colors and organic natural forms. Reminds me of a painting like Rainy landscape, by Russian painter Kandinsky,, that I saw at, from where one can order a canvas print of it. Really good place to browse the painter’s work and other work similar to your style of painting.

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