Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Salvador Dali Museum

The Dali Museum is in Saint Petersburg Florida. The city has a definite "Artsy" vibe. The museum is right next to an airport. It was actually a bit chilly on the morning I was there. I got to the museum before it opened and decided to sketch the building and gardens before going in. The cement "bench" was in the sun. I leaned back against a light pole and warmed up as I sketched. The architecture of the museum is fascinating, with a glass dome wrapping around the back of the building like an octopus. The garden was arranged as a maze with surreal melting benches. A gentleman admired my work. He tripped on some grass and fell on top of me. I broke his fall. I got a comment from a reader the other day saying that my work is kind of literal, and they would like to see me work in a more surreal or impressionistic style. As soon as man discovered how to make art, there was the art critic.

In the lobby there was an old vintage car that had a mermaid in the back seat. Windows were dripping. The driver wore a heavy metal divers helmet. From the book, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" I remember reading about Dali showing up at a party in such a diving helmet. The faceplate got stuck and Dali almost suffocated to death.

A security guard made me leave my artist stood downstairs when I checked in. I wouldn't be relaxing and sketching any galleries. The collection has work from Dali back from his student days. I respect the fact that Dali was expelled from art school because he felt he knew more about art than his teachers. Some of his paintings were huge. One piece showed a woman standing and looking out at an ocean through a cross shaped window. There was a small portrait of Lincoln hidden in a panel. Later from across the room I saw the painting again in a whole new light. The hole huge 20 foot high canvas was a portrait of Lincoln but I couldn't see it from up close. These sort of inspired surprises are when Dali is at his best. I remember hearing that Dali got annoyed that the paper used at Disney Feature Animation had peg holes in it, when he was doing developmental work for Destino back in 1946.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

1 comment:

Carl F Gauze said...

The Dali in Spain has a 32 packard with 2 manequins inside under a shower head. It's like a franchise.