mardi 4 septembre 2012

Dali: Hidden Faces

Guess who, at the age of 16, wrote in his journal entitled “My Impressions and Intimate Memories”, “When I come back, I will be a genius and the world will admire me. I may be despised, misunderstood, but I will be a genius, a great genius because I am certain of it”.
The inimitable Salvador Dali, of course. Showman par excellence, iconoclast, bombast and man of deep contradictions, Dali was indeed a genius. Today his life and work are not “despised” or “misunderstood” and in fact, a stroll through a traveling exhibition of his work (held at 19 Grand Place in Brussels) will show just how influential his work has been to the development of art (fine art, decorative arts, advertising, film) and psychology (the subconscious, the erotic, the dream state).
The exhibition displays a bit of everything: some of Dali's sculptures, early efforts at drawing and writing, a copy of his novel entitled “Hidden Faces”, a deck of Tarot cards, playing cards painted on plates, magazine advertisements for women's stockings and more. On display are also items that reveal his curious, ever-shifting contradictory political opinions. He paints a picture of Mao and superimposes Marilyn Monroe's face on it. He takes a photo of Stalin, another of Franco, puts these up against his own face and has someone take a picture of these three moustachioed men – to say what? He was expelled from the Surrealist club for refusing to toe the party line and said that he was apolitical, although he admitted to being an anarchist and a monarchist – both at the same time. Dali's politics changed over time as did his addresses, his financial standing and his friends and allies but he remained his own best publicist, an imaginative thinker and a superb artist.

Salvador Dali Exhibition Brussels Grand Place until September 10, 2012

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