Wednesday, October 22, 2008
When Dali Came Face To Face With The Real Dali
This was the highlight of my trip to New York. Naturally I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as I knew there were two Dalis hanging there. Did I mentioned that I used to sell Dali's lithographs in Paddington, Sydney during my Uni days? Well I did and fell in love with his paintings, but I have never seen a real Dali in my life. His paintings are all over the world and its a bit silly to try and see all of them.
I spent just over an hour inside The Met but was staring at The Crucifixion for over 20 minutes. I wanted to say "Hey, I blogged as Dali, you know!". The painting happens to be one of my favourites as well, hence I was in awe as I did not know which two Dalis were hanging there. The other was a B grade Dali, The Madonna & Child in concentric circles... but I digress. Since I had been acquainted with his works, I was dying to tell someone what a wonderful painting we all were looking at. I was exclaiming to the group next to me, "What a magnificent piece..."... half hoping that someone would ask me why it was so... lol... yeah, conceited...
Then someone actually said "Yea, its unusual.." Thats all I needed, and before you know it, I was lecturing on why the painting was so great... I know, I can't help myself, but after a while I had an audience of six..lol. I believe I said something like this: "Its Dali's way of interpreting Christ on the Cross. The Catholics were in shock over the painting. Dali used atomic blocks to depict the cross to bring Christ to the nuclear age, and Christ was not bloodied and his hands and feet were not nailed, its totally against the teachings of a suffering Christ. The painting in itself was crisp in realism, it brought Christ to the 20th century on how we viewed the Redeemer... and if you looked at the lower side its a chess board like feature, ... where are we placing Christ in our chess of life. .. and you cannot see the face of Jesus as that would be close to idolatry, God need not and should not have a face as Jesus was human and God and that's all we needed to know. Jesus was depicted as a healthy looking body, not frail or disfigured, and that plays into how we view Jesus, is he still nailed on the Cross... of course not. In Dali's twisted yet brilliant mind, he sees Christ much like the Protestants did, the deed is done, its over, get over yourselves... he is no longer on the Cross. That's why I think the painting is incredible..." Lol, I did get some praises for that... it was really an incredible setting, I wish I could bottle up the experience.
p/s on my last day somebody told me that the Guggenheim also have a Dali.. Birth of Liquid Desires, not exactly one of my favourites... and there was The Persistence of Memory at the Museum of Modern Art... and I was too tired after walking one hour up and down Fifth Avenue, save that for my next trip..