Sunday, July 1, 2012

Figueres June-2012

Figueres, a wee little town about two hours north of Barcelona, is only on the map because it was the home of Salvadore Dali.  He was baptized here and one has to wonder if they held him under water a tad bit too long.  You probably already know that I am not a huge fan of his, but in some ways, I am.
I like that he didn't let his inhibitions stop him from doing what he wanted to do.  What he needed to do.
He built a museum to himself - can you say "self promotion.  So what?  Is there anything wrong with recognizing that you can sit around in life and wait in line or you can make your own line.  He made his own line.  If not for him, half of Figueres would be unemployed.   He, very much like Picasso, realized that the difference between a superstar artist and a starving artist has nothing to do with talent, rather it has to do with having a nose for creating publicity which leads to sales.  Both men realized that if an artist does what everyone else is doing, he will be getting a day job, because people don't buy ordinary... Consumers want something different, something special, and why...well, because it makes them feel like they are special...and we all know that everyone wants to be special!!

I knew the museum was going to be, er, uh, um, different, and as soon as you near his house, you get a quick orientation that, yep, this is going to be different.   Yep.  You put a 12" statue of the robot from the "Day the Earth Stood Still" in your front yard and watch the attention it gets.
"What?? Not enough attention, well then lets drill some holes in it, not have a face, and..." least I can tell that it's a man, I think.

Okay, but that was just a warm-up for some kinkier stuff.  As you enter his house, he has a 1941 Cadillac in the front yard.  Not that unusual if you grew up in the rural South, except for the thousands or so of condoms hanging down over the naked mega-boobed Hindu-like woman.  I suppose we're suppose to guess or figure out the riddles of this "masterpiece", however, legend has it that he and his dad had a terrible falling out over his relationship with his lover, Gala, and the fact that Dali had been quoted in a newspaper saying, "I often spit on my mother's portrait."  His dad told him that he was no longer allowed in his home so Dali brought a condom with his own sperm in it to his dad and said, "Here, I owe you nothing more!"
Wow!!!  Have a nice day!!

Dali was a showman, just like Picasso.  Just like Barnum and Bailey.  Just like Terrell Owens and Ocho Sicko... Cinco.  They are all people with talent who realized that there are tons of equally talented wide receivers.  Equally talented artists.  So how to be different?  How to stand out in the crowd?   Well for Dali, it meant painting the Surreal.

He definitely could paint "normal" pictures, but why?  Walk through any medina and you'll find a gazillion pictures of Arabs on horses.  Here's one of Omar Shariff looking left. Here's one Omar looking right.  Here's one of Omar not looking.  They won't sell.  You can go to the next shop and find almost the same thing.   He wanted to "brand" himself, hence the peculiar mustache (I'm being kind), the whacked paintings, (okay that wasn't so kind), and the flamboyant lifestyle. Can you say, "Hey notice me!!!"

Notice me?  I'm bored.  Check out this statue of Dali.  What does his face say?  It says, "I'm bored to death.  Let's party!!"  and then he went off!

Boy, did he go off!
In the 60's we would have said that he was trippin'.

The longer you stare at this, the more you will see, which I think is pretty cool.  What does it all mean?? WTHK - Who the Heck Knows!

Wouldn't this make a lovely Christmas card?  A bunch of headless bodies lying by the sea in togas.
Hmmm... I think it means that if you are drunk, don't sleep near a beach where psychopathic Romans are camped.  They will dress you in togas, cut your head off and take them back to their camp on the other side of the beach.

Now this one is a no-brainer.  If you are a naked female, and you eat a decaying jackass that is on the beach... bad things may happen to losing your head... 
 it could be a take on the Biblical line...." It will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven".  This naked woman tried so hard to pass through the eyes of the needles on the beach, that her head became swollen and fell off, quickly changing to a man's head.  
Wow!  This IS a masterpiece!!!
The last work of art I saw in the town was not far from the museum and I don't know if Dali made it or not, but it was really cool.  It reflected his image onto a pole from an etching on the ground.  Probably had to be there to appreciate it...or be like Dali and imagine it!

So... should you go to Figueres???  Just know what you are getting into.  There will be things that will make you gag and others that you will marvel.  If you have the ability to focus on the marvelous and overlook the flamboyance, then go.