I have loved surrealism before I even knew what it was. Cloudy messages and hidden meanings give me such a thrill. Being straight forward in the art world can be such a snooze-fest. I enjoy being left to my own devices, plopped in the middle of a confusing painting that I must figure out and enjoy based off clues and my own feelings and agendas.
The rush of surrealism comes in the form of a brain unchained. This 20th-century avant-garde movement sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind. Irrational juxtapositions and illogical creations ruled the day. What fun!
The infamously mustached Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí, helped carry the banner of the surrealist movement with grandiose, dreamlike creations. This last week I had the pleasure of going to a museum dedicated to his genius in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Dalí is one of the most memorable places I’ve ever been to.
The striking architecture alone is enough to merit a visit. When we first pulled up to the location, all I could think was that it looked as if a glass slug were eating a box of concrete. A grand spiral staircase winds up the lobby to the ascending floors and extends towards the heavens. Walking along the walls of the galleries and seeing the progression of Dalí’s work jumbles everything into a perspective of an artist learning to unchain his brain and let it loose on canvas.
Years ago I created my own Persistence of a Memory in a very for-the-love-of-nike fashion. This recreation of perhaps Dalí’s most recognizable images helped me get into the world of “hand-painted dream photographs.” Placing a pair of Nikes were Dalí’s melted self-portrait would have been gives you an inclination to the sneakerhead inside of me.
When I stumbled across his follow up, The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory, I was enthralled. The visible break down of matter and resulting dissolution of this moment in time speaks volumes, about what— that is up to you. You even see a representation of the painting melting into a fish, often used by Dalí to represent life.
It’s lovely, confusing, and a step out of reality. That’s precisely why it makes for the perfect dress. When I saw this little beauty turned into a textile, I had to make it mine. Draped in the robes of Dalí’s surrealist vision, I made it my own again with a pair of sneakers.
Now off to enjoy the sunshine state and think on all that I’ve seen.