It is impossible not to be fascinated with Dali's art.
His works are technically brilliant and wondrously creative. Drawing inspiration from his dreams, he superposes impossible events on realistic sceneries to perpetuate confusion, chaos.
The below oil painting on civil war depicts two figure tearing into each other.
The Temptation of St Anthony (below) is rich in motifs of repressed desires. Thin, long legs recall that of spiders' and are symbolic of sexual wants. (Spiders' legs = lust? I've no idea why. According to art critics, spider legs are supposed to be arousing...)
Of all the historical art movements, I must admit that I'm most enchanted with the rigorous creativity of the Surrealists. They alone stepped into the world of dreams to retrieve ideas of startling clarity.
So it's with great trepidation that I entered exhibition, Dali: Mind of a Genius, at Marina Bay Sands' ArtScience Museum.
The first quote I read had me laughing. Everyone around me was equally tickled by Dali's egotism.
"Each morning, when I wake up, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali. What is this fantastic creature going to do today, I ask myself. What prodigious works of beauty will he create?"
That guy's mad, way off his rockers. Perhaps that's why his works are so resonant.
The Persistence of Memory (below) is a meditation on life's ephemeral nature. Time melts, time flows. And, what does time mean? This is an easy question to ask but with no easy answers.
A series of engrossing sculptures follow one after another in a relentless pace.
From beautiful and dreamy to subversive and sexual, Dali's art evokes a maelstrom of emotions. Even though he has been long dead, his works will continue to live on.
Evaluation of the exhibition:
The curators brilliantly direct the flow of traffic such that viewers are inexorably drawn into Dali's realm. We first lay our greedy eyes on the maquettes, sculptures and ink drawings before feasting on Dali-designed furniture, perfume bottles and jewellery. As the finale, we bide farewell to an inspiring installation of ticking clocks and fun house mirrors.
The curators are all the more respected, considering the limited type of materials on display. There were only one Dali painting - Spellbound - and it isn't even one of his more renowned. Quite disappointing, but somewhat expected. His paintings are rare and extremely expensive...
Dali's sculptures are beautiful. Wonderful. It makes me feel like a fool. (Haha, the sentences rhyme.)
All in all, the exhibition is great, worth every cent of the entrance fees.
Besides, it influences me to install certain furniture - such as the Mae West Lips Sofa - in my home next time. The signature lips can also be the logo on my namecard or something. Hahaha.
Interesting trivia not included in the MBS exhibition
- After gaining fame, Dali sold stacks of plain papers with his signatures to other artists. It is unclear how many ink sketches were actually done by him.
- Dali was very conscious of the image he portrayed to the public and sought to remain in the limelight.
- After his death, his sculptures were recasted and many imitations abound. For example, his Space Elephant reportedly has 900 copies floating around in the art world. Many auction houses do not accept Dali's sculptures for sale. Only his paintings are well received.
Yup, the guy on the left, he's the famous Dali. Mreow, he whispered.