Sunday, September 25, 2011


Guess who had reservations for the opening night of the Salvador Dali Exhibit that's in Austin at the Russell Collection?


Guess who didn't go.


And Padawan.


Reservations can be made for another day.  It's here for a while, and I'm not worried! So I missed opening what? The pieces will be as beautiful on Wednesday as they were tonight. 

Why do I want to go to this Exhibit?

Well, it's frankly not just to get Padawan exposed to art outside of the computer animated world. (Though really that's a big one. Never even went to a zoo before he went with my family, poor thing. He's never been in an art museum ever.)

Dali resides in the same compartment in my head as sharks. Really fascinating, but utterly creepy and maybe a little terrifying. Seriously. I tried reading his autobiography a couple of years ago. (Yes, I said tried and not did read.) Couldn't finish it.

I mean, aside from the obvious lack of chronological order in his random passages, it was creepy. Like, he was creepy. From childhood through adulthood, just...utterly strange. There's the thing about biting the head off of the bat that was covered in ants just to freak out his babysitter because he saw her peeing on the ground. (I don't understand the connection either, I swear it.) There's also the bit about how he was running to watch something and saw his baby sister crawling in the hallway and just decided to kick her head like a soccer ball. He didn't understand why he was in trouble. Or the way he freaked out when the woman he loved (and presumably married) had to go to the hospital and he worried and by the time he found out she was fine he was so frustrated with his worry he said he could kill her for it.

You understand why I think he's a creepy dude. But some of his's stunning. The things he could create with watercolors...some of them vibrant (though nothing you could ever call cheerful) and some of them darker and haunting...I'd love to be in a room full of Dali. (So long as Dali himself isn't hanging around. Like a shark, I like him better with the glass between us.) I don't love all of his work, of course. Some of it is just straight up sinister, screwed up, and revolting. And if that's was the reaction he wanted then I imagine he's pretty pleased with himself.

I frankly can't bring myself to read any interviews of him. I got the distinct impression he's extremely proud. Arrogant even. And a coworker did say that he said he's not the best artist of our age because he's too good to be the best artist of the age. Or something. I can't really remember what he said because I didn't read it myself and it's hard for me to remember when people talk about little things that don't particularly interest me. And interview with Dali...not interesting. I've been inside of his mind with that autobiography and I felt a little crazier for the little bit I read. (Couldn't have been more than sixty pages or so.)


To be in the room with some of my favorite pieces though...

It will be amazing. I will go.

I swear I will. 


  1. Artists are often rather crazy, in one way or another, but this guy sounds like he barely qualifies to stay out of the funny farm, much less be allowed out in public. Yet it's the crazy ones that can push things far enough to be brilliant.

    Enjoy the exhibit when you get there. Maybe even show some of your favorites? I'm curious now...

  2. Be careful. If those Dali paintings catch the scent of blood they'll...wait, no, that's sharks.

    Kicked the baby's head like soccer ball? I hope it didn't come off like a soccer ball. Are you sure you weren't reading David Beckham's biography?:

    "...he started kicking his sister's decapitated head around the house at a young age, and his family knew he was destined for greatness. His sister...not so much."

  3. Dali was definitely strange. Inside and out. I do suspect that some of those stories from his childhood were made up to capitalize on his oddity. And I think it tickled his ego to strut about in arrogant buffoonery. His paintings were weird and amazing and everybody referred to him as a "mad genius" so he made himself one. I'm sure deep down inside he was just as sad and lonely and unsure of himself as any of the rest of us. But I may be wrong.

  4. I went to the Dali museum in St. Petersberg, FL, this summer. The whole building was Dali-esque. Pretty amazing. But you're right: he was a weird dude.

  5. Candice, call me crazy but I like artists with a little bit of humility in them. Not that I don't like the other ones. Talent is talent. But, you know, he's still kind of weird.

    I'll see if I can find some pictures of my favorites on the interwebz. I really don't think I'd be allowed to take pictures at the exhibit.

    Bryan, I'm pretty sure it was Dali's. And he didn't say like a soccer ball. I think he just said he kicked her head like a ball, and I put in soccer ball because that gives the right picture in my head. Not that a picture of a boy kicking his baby sister in the head is a right kind of picture...

    Rev, do you really? I should hope some of them were. Especially the one about his sister. That's just messed up. He couldn't have been sad and lonely, though. He married the woman he loved...

    Brent, I'd like to see a whole museum full of Divinci and Picasso before I'd like to see a whole one dedicated to Dali. A lot of his paintings are seriously creepy...

  6. I'm pretty sure this post just convinced us all to pick up a copy of that book. Even if it's only to throw it down in horror.

    Also, if there's a Shark Week, there should TOTALLY be a Dali Week.

  7. I don't know it for a fact, but I am suspicious of any autobiography. Dali came on the scene when Dada was still in full swing and any artist who colored outside of the lines was considered "mad" and made into instant celebrities. And so capitalizing on that madness was a no-brainer.

    But if you look at his pictures, and especially at his eyes, you might see a little of that "I wish I was somewhere else" look. Despite all his bombastic tomfoolery and posturing he always looked a little lost to me.

  8. Ick. Art. Feeling...sleepy...must...get....too....zzzzzz

    I should like art more, not only is he a great bartender at my local watering-hole, but I believe my brain is a museum of dali-like pieces.

  9. I agree. Some of Dali's work is fantastic, opening your mind to possibilities most of us would never imagine. Then some are freaktastic and make me want to take a shower.

  10. I, also, am too good to be the greatest artist of the age. In fact, if I ever drew a serious piece of art, its transcendental transcendence would transform the way we see transcend. Hence the stick figures. The world just isn't ready.

  11. I'm familiar with his style and a couple of pieces of his work, but I don't really know that much about him. I hope you enjoy the show.

  12. Um, I'm fairly alarmed by the brief little descriptions you gave of his thoughts. Alarmed. Don't think I could have read that book either. *shivers*

    Can't wait to see what you thought of the show!


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