Salvador Dali is back and better than ever at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
LACMA has dedicated 10 viewing rooms to the master of surrealism and on display are not only his most famous works of art but also the lesser known sculptures and films.
Attendees encounter the first of Dali’s twisted pieces upon entering the museum. A large three-dimensional artwork that consists of two images. As viewers stand in front of the piece they see a woman’s face but as they move the image transforms into a surreal eye floating in the air.
Although this first image somewhat sets the tone, it cannot begin to give the viewer a complete understanding of the visual splendor that is yet to come.
Eight of the 10 rooms contain movie screens showing films such as “An Andalusian Dog,” “The Golden Age,” and “Spellbound,” to name a few.
All of the films are interesting and worth watching, but one in particular was very fascinating, “Destino.” This film was collaboration between Walt Disney and Dali that started in 1946 but was not completed until 2003. It is a seven minute film that incorporates the brilliance of Disney animation with Dali’s amazing imagery. You will find yourself watching it over and over again. And to help further ones understanding, storyboard images are lined against the wall explaining the finished project.
Another interesting piece covers an entire wall and is the backdrop for the dream sequence in the movie “Spellbound.” The words dream sequence says it all for when you stand and look at it you can’t help but feel that you are floating in a peaceful, serene dream.
In yet another room there hangs a black backdrop with white eyes all over it and a case displaying articles and photographs of the artist from books and magazines. Adjacent to the case are two sitting areas, one that allows you to look at books of his works and another with three computer screens and headphones to watch Disney cartoons, Dali on various television shows and short clips from him.
When venturing into the last few viewing rooms, your eyes are immediately drawn to the red walls that showcase his sculptures.
According to “Essential Dali,” Dali was a Spanish painter born into a middle class family where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. At the academy he mastered academic techniques but was later expelled for declaring that his professors were incompetent and for refusing to be tested.
He formed life-long friendships with well-known people – Federico Garcia Lorca, Luis Banuel, Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney and Andy Warhol – all of whom played important roles in his life and art.
His first one-man show was held in Barcelona in 1925, where he showed a few of his seascape paintings. He became interested in avant-garde concepts especially cubism, futurism, the multiplicity of viewpoints and the emphasis of conveying the experience of movement.
Viewing this exhibit helps to show the variety of techniques and mediums he used: gouache on paper, watercolor, oils, collage, pen and ink, wood, canvas, glass and lets not forget the famous lobster phone sculpture.
His work was created so that the viewer could become personally involved by questioning the significance of the objects and the thoughts and feelings they invoke.
LACMA clearly delivers a visually stimulating and thought provoking art exhibit through the pieces that they have chosen to show and the way these pieces have been displayed. This exhibit is a mind blowing must see.
Dali Painting and Film will be available for viewing from Oct. 14, 2007 through Jan. 6, 2008 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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