Monday, March 28, 2005


Went to see some of Dali’s work this weekend with Kevin, Poppy, Feanor and SK, thanks largely to AM’s willingness to watch Bubber Boo. She rocks.

I found it interesting and recommend it if you have a few hours to kill and the $23 cost of a ticket. Gadzooks, dems some long dollars! I do, however, recommend it with a caveat which is this; only go if you are willing to view served torsos of women, monsters in excruciating pain and whimsical household items such as a couch mirrored after Doris Day’s lips and a crab telephone. If you’re not down with such things, don’t go. Poppy wasn’t down and raced through the exhibit like a Girl on Fire, Darryl’s favorite Thai dish, but I digress.

My general thoughts are thus, Dali’ was an amazing talent. His early work shows a kind thoughtfulness for his subjects and a quiet willingness to let them possess his work. Sadly, those works are few. Dali’ graduated from these pieces toward a more withdrawn approach to art…one where, in my opinion, his subject became his head; his thoughts, his theories, his expectations, and his sexuality.

Sadly, Dali’s head was not nearly as interesting as his earlier subjects. And this is not a universal point. It is Dali’s head, in particular, that I find uninteresting-not internal subject matter, per se. I dug his willingness to visit Freudian psychoanalysis in his work, though I make no secret of my opinion of that crap. I even appreciated his desire to depict physical theories of matter in his paintings—though these attempts failed remarkably.

I guess the main thing is that the exhibit tasted fake. It felt like he was trying to “explain” his thoughts, when his thoughts were not fully formed, or not formed to the degree needed for any coherent communication to come across in his paintings. One of my professors once said, “Ten inches of mudding water is still just a mud puddle.” It’s a shame really. I feel like Dali’, had he studied science and psychology in a structured way, could have really had something meaningful to say in his art. And that gets to it. Many artists study art, as art, leaving other subject matter to others. Unfortunately, art is nothing if not communication…an expressing of culture, science, knowledge, understanding, feeling…Dali’ had feeling, but little else.


Blogger Sarcasmo said...

Dali’ had feeling, but little else.I have to disagree, Aerenchyma. I saw the exhibit earlier with family - and am going again with some friends next month, because (due to lunch reservations) I felt as though I rushed through it the first time.

I will admit that I certainly didn't like everything he did - and even that some of his ideas seemed half-formed...but I was absolutely floored by his technical skill - most obvious is his very early and later works.

I think where you and I might differ the most is that, although I agree that art is about communication, I also think that is a way to work out and work through ideas; I think good art can be about the exploration of an idea and not just about making a concrete statement.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Aerenchyma said...

Wow. Huh, I hadn't thought about it that way. It may be because of my philosophical training. A philosopher would NEVER even consider putting something out there unless it was a coherent and complete thought, if only a snapshot. They would consider anything less, lazy and not worth discourse.

I like your read on it though...though I still think Dali' a bit lazy when it comes to completing a thought...but that's okay...why must everything be compelete? I guess one could say, "It's the journey..."

1:12 PM  

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