Slicing up eyeballs and eccentric dreams
What is the first art piece that comes to mind when you think of Salvador Dalí? The Burning Giraffe, iconic melting watches, the elephants on spindly legs? Maybe Un Chien Andalou that he made with fellow surrealist Luis Buñuel featuring the image of an eye being cut by a razor? In my case it is the Lobster Telephone. This surreal creation was purchased by Tate in 1981. It became an important part of Tate Modern’s collection that I have seen many times when visiting and later living in London. When I moved to Barcelona last year Dalí’s Theatre-Museum in Figueres and his house in Portlligat seemed like great places to start exploring Catalonia.
In Dalí’s hometown
It is fairly easy to get to Figueres from Barcelona as there is a direct train that runs frequently between two cities. Keep in mind that the Dalí Theatre-Museum is a popular place and it is essential to book tickets in advance. An available slot might not always nicely match your arrival time if do decide to take a train. I had to get up very early to catch mine and to make sure I will be on time. Luckily a quick coffee and a small breakfast while looking up at Torre Galatea worked wonders and prepared me for the crowds that just like me came to Dalí’s hometown to admire the art.
The museum is located in the the former Municipal Theatre, which was destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. On its ruins, Dalí decided to create his museum, an extremely eccentric space, which these days holds some of his major art pieces and offers a variety of events.
In Dalí’s house
Next day, after spending a night in a small town called Roses I took a bus to beautiful Cadaqués. It is the place that inspired a lot of Dali’s work and I was not surprised why. When I walked all the way to Dali’s house in Portlligat I enjoyed the stunning views of a rocky coast. I felt inspired too.
The House of Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala was one of the most interesting art spaces that I have recently visited. The detail, the decor, the surroundings.. well, I really recommend that you see it for yourself. Again, it is important to book your tickets in advance as you can only enter the house in very small groups.
There is also Gala Dalí Castle in Púbol, that I have not had a chance to visit yet. Along with Cadaqués and Figueres, it forms the so-called “Dalinian Triangle”. Maybe next spring?