Wednesday, 4 April 2012

D for Dali

My love affair with Salvador Dali began in 1970. The place: Tate Gallery   London, as it was known then, when Tate Britain or Tate Modern did not exist. It was love at first sight. I remember the moment. Gazing upon The Enchanted Beach where three ethereal figures, gossamer yet powerful, appeared like an apparition before my eyes. Ripped female form, almost manly but anatomically precise. 
Engaged in awe for what seemed like an eternity, the gentle golden hues rolled like waves, as if, of a desert sea, beckoning. Stepping back for a wide-angled view, it was not an illusion after all. As if to satisfy lustful need, I looked around and more treasures emerged that moved me. 


Prints of the Persistence of Memory, 1931, yes the melting clock http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/salvador-dali#supersized-featured-221654 My Wife Nude, Contemplating her own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column Sky and Architecture, 1945  http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/salvador-dali#supersized-featured-221177 were purchased and firmly entrenched on the walls of our first home, the Nude securing a place in our bathroom.


Remember when the love interest could do no wrong. Even lengthy, incongruous evocative nouns strung around esoteric verbs seemed poetic. Dream caused by a the flight of a bee around a pomegranate one second before awakening lingered in my right brain for a long time. 
I put it to good use years later to embellish my Postgraduate Pathology lecture series on Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology for lumps and bumps in the neck and breast. Lateral thinking at work. A bit of Dali did rub off it seems.
Like all love affairs, the fire burns out when the passion is seemingly one-sided. Life happens; two babies later and a career to nurture, the Dali prints fade and find themselves hidden behind newer interests.  
As fate would have it, a chance holiday of the time-share kind to lesser hamlet, Perpignan, at the Franco-Spanish border, led to a renewed connection. Only 40 kilometres away lay The Figueres Dali Theatre-Museum. Inaugurated in 1974, the old Theatre was transformed by Dali into his own Neverland of sorts - from golden egg turrets to Mae West optical illusion displays. And so an old relationship was stirred.
Encoding, storage and retrieval, especially of long term memory, is immeasurably large, if one can begin to fathom that concept. After all the human body is made up of a bunch of molecules bouncing around, never static, determined by a unique DNA footprint, as visualised by Dali in Galatea of the Spheres 1952.
The world is getting smaller, true, it is. Dali returned to me reborn in the form of a lotus, the ArtScience Museum Marina Bay, Singapore in 2011. His works were in-your-face outstanding. Dalis' genius gave the breath of life from embryonic etchings to adult-sized bronze, gold-leafed mythical sirens bearing fluttering butterflies, rendering this surreal world believable. The lotus flower opens to reveal the core. 
In relationships, if one keeps learning from each other, there is always a chance of continuation. Life may distort, like the ebb and flow of waves, but the ocean remains deep and true and seldom falters.

3 comments:

rosli said...

great stuff.. wonder what E will be..How about H for my highway to heaven..?

Jessica said...

Definitely some things to think about here. Thanks for sharing.

Jessica
A to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer
Visions of Other Worlds
Twitter: @jmarcarelli

Amelia said...

I never quite got into Dali's surrealism. I'm more of a Gustav Klimt sort :)