Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dali Museum (Figueres, Spain)

Spanish artist, Salvador Dali, was a master of surrealism. He chose to house an amazing collection of his work in his hometown, Figueres., which is about an hour and a half from Barcelona by train. The Dali Theatre and Museum is the second most-visited museum in Spain (after the Prado in Madrid). I've heard great things about the museum so we decided to take a day trip to Figueres.

When Dali set off to design the museum, he wanted to make it a multimedia experience that showcased a variety of his works, from paintings to sculptures to installations, etc. The result was an eclectic collection that takes you inside the (in my opinion) very strange mind of Salavador Dali. Some of the most famous pieces include the painting of his wife, "Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln." It is indeed very cool how when you look at the painting closely, you see a naked woman from the back, but if you stand far enough back (or simply look at the display on your digital camera), you'll see the face of Abraham Lincoln. The piece I wanted to see the most was the installation of a room that when you just look at it, it looks like a living room with a couch, fireplace, and some paintings. However, when you look at the room through a wide-angle lens (which you usually have to stand a pretty long line to do), you'll see the face of Mae West.

Once you walk out the main museum, there is also a jewelry museum that displays Dali-designed jewelry. (I didn't even know he was jewelry designer!) There are some very cool and intricate pieces, not to mention unusual, like the rest of his work. Overall, the Dali Museum is definitely very different than other museums one would typically visit in Europe, but worth a trip out of Barcelona if you have time.