We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Following up on the previous theme of finding things to do as an empty-nester, we were at the mall recently (the Apple Store to fix an iPad and iPhone which had gone awry) and found a gallery which was selling/showing Salvador Dali etchings from the Argillet Collection.
Christine Argillet is the daughter of Pierre Argillet, one of Dali's patrons. His relationship with Dali began in 1934 and continued throughout his life. Christine essentially grew up with Dali, and since Pierre's death has managed one of the largest Dali collections in the world.
I love Dali's work and for my sake my wife suggested we walk in. The gallery manager viewed the etchings with us, telling stories from previous shows which Christine had attended. We were invited back for the show (this weekend on Saturday), which I will attend. A bit later, on the ride home, my wife told me she had no interest in Dali, but knew I enjoyed surrealism, was willing to take a look but I'd likely attend on my own. That's fine, I spent an hour by myself in the Time Warner Building on Columbus Avenue when they had Dali's work in the lobby. A lucky find while out walking NYC streets during lunch.
I was lucky that my wife had paid attention as we were leaving the mall. Empty-nesting is a constant relearning of what brought you together in the first place. Sometimes you find things one or both enjoy, sometimes you just indulge the other person. Dali is a great indulgence, particularly on her part.
For me, Dali is an expression of an inner wildness and creativity which never found a reasonable outlet. His work expresses a joy of life, but also a willingness to avoid conforming to the norm, while accepting the norm but never worrying much about it.
Dali was cast out of the Surrealist movement because he rejected their socialist/communist politics, feeling that art needed to stand on its own. I suspect he had a touch of capitalist in him, knowing he needed money to survive and accomplish what he wanted to do, and his art was a specialized enough means to an end to help get all the things he wanted. However, he claimed to be a communist in his youth, though mainly to promote shock and generate a reaction. In his later years, he returned to Catholicism and declared himself a monarchist. However, he supported Francisco Franco, even praising him for signing certain death warrants.
How much of Dali is really what he believed? That's hard to say. Most of Dali's life was designed to generate a reaction, not necessarily make a point. I like to believe he must have been a very fun person to know, but nearly impossible to figure out or expect much from outside his art.
But it's possible to trace certain modern art, like performance art or the Nouveau Realisme of Christo, to Dali and his desire to generate a reaction. Dali wasn't usually interested inmaking a political point, but from time to time he made his point carefully, such as his Mao work, which included veiled references to the French fleur-de-lis and the Spanish Crown.
Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz
In these days of PhotoShop, the picture that accompanies your post would be relatively easy to make. However, this was a one-time photograph. Everything from Dali to the water and the cats seem to float, but gravity was still in control.
I do not remember the story behind it, but you can see the supporting wires that would have been retouched out of the final picture and cropped to exclude the hands holding the chair on the left.
I too love Dali. I saw a small number of his works at a show in Prague last year and right now I'm in Barcelona heading for Figueres next week to see the museum, theatre etc.
My wife feels the same way yours does about Dali, as do I about her lust for touring cathedrals. I spent a pleasant few hours outside the Gaudi cathedral yesterday wandering about an interesting city, girl watching and drinking coffee while she looked at every single thing and word inside, at least twice.
If we cant give and get indulgence to and from our spouses, then where can we?
As a side note, the cell phone has revolutionized the relationships between husbands and wives. We can be together but not hanging off each other and with Google maps can find each other in moments.
Yesterday I bought a perfectly respectable 2011 Ribera del Duero in a Dia mini-market for $US1.15, including tax. Holy Cow.