Recently, I visited the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg Florida. I was quite impressed not only by Dali’s work but also by the museum itself. It is a state of the art, technologically advanced, world class museum displaying many, many of his works but also providing insights into his personality and what motivated his paintings.
In the past few years, I developed an interest in Dali and was fortunate enough to visit his home and museum in Figueres, Spain three years ago. This was quite an experience. Dali was a surrealist painter, and many of his paintings seem to make no sense. However, once one gets an understanding of his influences, one can understand his paintings.
Dali was greatly influenced by Picasso as well as by Sigmund Freud’s book, The Interpretation of Dreams, with its emphasis on the unconscious. Many of Dali’s later paintings contain distorted sexual images, unconscious wishes, and objects that defy traditional shapes and sizes. Looking at his paintings requires looking at close detail and attempts to understand the shock value of some of his images. It is not a painting to just look at and admire. It requires you to do some mental work but the reward is to understand the complicated and very difficult life of this very unique artist.
I strongly recommend a trip to this museum in St. Pete as it is quite a learning and enjoyable experience in a beautiful city. At the very least, look at some of his paintings and try to figure out what he is trying to say in his works.