This week in Figueres and Arles I want to learn more about how artists successfully portray what is going on behind the surface. For me how can I project more of the emotions, thoughts and states of a self behind a surface image.
The Dali Museum in Figueres was a remarkable place to start. I watched a BBC documentary by Ian Bishop from 1997 last night to brief myself on Dali. Dominated by his father, losing his mother who he adored when he was 16 and sexually confused all combined to create a shy, extroverted genius. When he put his museum in Figueres he said his intention was that ‘It will be a totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.’ That is exactly how I left.
So many of his images connect with the images so many of us have in our dream or hallucinated states. He was prolific. I hadn’t realise his obsession with presenting masturbation as a positive force. He was also terrified of grasshoppers. Many of his early images arise out of family holidays in Cadaques. He also spent time when he was 21 with Lorca the Spanish poet and struggled with fears of homosexuality.
I want to pick out this image for the impression it had on me. At first you see what look like some flowers in a meadow. But as you look closer you see more and more and discover there is a whole town and a cast of characters. It is a remarkable achievement. Ian Bishop pointed out in his documentary that Dali sometimes painted with a brush with two hairs and used a jewellers magnifying glass to add in his detail.
This image also had strong impact on me as I projected so much pain behind this face. Achieved with brush strokes and colours and what he does show and does not.
To think about for my project is finding ways to link in to the inner fears all human beings naturally experience. Finding ways of getting these in to images will get the viewer to project their own response as we all do to Dali images. The other thought is how to get more in to an image as a viewer looks closer.
I will come back here again and will learn more about Dali.
Categories: Contextual Research, Surfaces and Strategies