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Dalí, you’re nutty, but I love you.

Where to begin. I have a thing for Dalí. He, MC Escher and Bill Waterson are the three guys I would love to talk shoppe with or just have coffee with … or just shake their hand. Math, science, amazing design, complete respect and abandon for rules and a touch of insanity. Today, we went two hours by train outside of Barcelona to Dalí’s hometown Figueres where he built a tribute to himself — The Dalí Theatre Museum.

This massive shrine to genius and insanity is a collection of some of his most amazing works as well as what I’d consider the unplayed gems on the B-side. Did you know he and Walt Disney were chums? They even made a short film together. It was never finished until 2003, but it kinda rules. There are so many elements of his paintings that show up in an animated way that just make sense. Astounding. So there are the big winners that I’ve loved for ages … The Hallucinogenic Matador, Portrait of Picasso (XXI), and heaps of stuff with Gala at the center. But there were loads of others that I had no idea ever existed. Oh and before we get there, did you know that he had a brother who died before Dalí was born? He too was named Salvador and his parents decided to name the second one by the first’s name. For the vast majority of his life he toiled with having to live up to grand expectations … the shoes of two lives essentially. He feared death and as such it became a huge part of his work. Decay, ants, rotting, melting, etc. Life is fragile but glorious and he lived it up. Take for instance this:

We failed to catch the name of this piece, largely due to the massive scale of it and the room it was in. This was flanked by the Matador, an amazing painting of Gala that when looked at from a massive distance, or through a camera, looks like Abraham Lincoln, and a ton of other pieces. The ceiling? A massive glass dome. Stunning. So what’s the next logical thing to pair with a huge indoor space? Why an outdoor one of course!

Said to be Al Capone’s car, a voluptuous woman as a HUGE hood ornament is the show stopper for this courtyard with ivy, tractor tires, gold gymnast statues, skulls, drawers and a fountain or two. Both of these shots were taken with my iPhone and Photojojo’s cell phone lenses.

Back inside we’ve got more sculptures of women with bread on their head, more drawers, a ton of stereoscopic paintings…truly amazing…and an entire room dedicated to a Mae West installation.

You climb up behind a camel and look down on what would appear to be random objects in the room. Through a glass it all comes into focus as a face. Wow. Oh and then a super creepy spoon neck blindfolded chick that hung down from the ceiling. Come on now, bring on the nightmares?

the biggest surprise though? Jewelry. Not just any shiny gems thrown together, but a collection of 37 pieces that were added to the museum for a cool €5,500,000. Yup that’s some bling. But when you can make a ruby encrusted heart beat, you can make even the husbands say, “wow, that’s cool.”

Lastly, the room we spent the most time in had an unbelievable painting on the ceiling. Seriously, my neck hurts from adoring it for so long. Gala and Dalí’s feet are huge but aren’t the most compelling portions of the painting. The edges and center have so much detail I couldn’t believe it. Thankfully, for this and many of the other shots in this post, I had my fisheye lens on my iPhone 4 hooked up to get it all in one shot. Autostitch is great, but it’s no true lens.

Dalí, I love your soft heart, your muse, your insanity, your brilliance, your vision, your perpetual drive, your art, your stache, and the afternoon Spun and I spent today getting to know you a bit better. Tormented or not, you’re AOK in my book.

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