There is something about huge white rooms thoughtfully filled with art that costs a fortune. Visiting art museums, galleries and exhibits – that’s one of the things I definitely enjoy quite a bit. This time it was Dali & Picasso, a combination of Spain’s finest.
This exhibit is currently held in Riga, which is a private (!!!) collection of graphic works, sculptures and pottery by the two geniuses. Can you imagine, someone actually owning all of this like Yeah, so this sculpture by Dali looks real good in my living room, it has that, you know, cool timeless look. Okay, I’m joking, but you get what I’m saying! I can’t even phantom owning one of these pieces, let alone 150. It’s the 4th largest private collection in the world, owned by businessman Aleksander Shadrin.
One thing was to look at these illustrative visual pieces and notice various continuing characteristics, colors or themes, but a whole other world is to really understand them. You can, at first, guess some ideas, like this seems to give power to women, this other one is a surrealist view of the broken world and similar, but Dali’s work is so much more intricate as it appears to be. Every little detail has some explanation, reason or message, which can only be taken in after it’s thoroughly explained to you.
It was absolutely amazing that in the exhibit there was a… well, a TV! It was a reel where the owner of these pieces talked about most if not all of the artworks, noting of these underlying messages. It was definitely eye-opening and watching this gives you many ooooh, so that’s why moments. We didn’t have enough time to watch the whole thing, but I wish we did, it was extremely interesting, especially after seeing all these works and trying to decipher them.
Dali’s works did overpower those of Pablo Picasso’s, in a sense of quantity and what we, regular people that recognize these artist names, expect to see. I personally know Pablo Picasso as this master of cubism paintings, bizarre images of visually broken-into-pieces women, thick paint blocks. Here it was his pottery works, which might be a bit less known, but still carry his cubist touch. His works seemed to be a bit more straightforward, holding his enjoyments from that time, like Spain’s ethnic tradition of bullfights.
I loved the exhibit, it was somehow less intimidating than I thought. It has a sense of relatability in the artwork techniques that we can see here. There are no awfully intricate, out-of-this-world-painter-skill paintings; the drawings/paintings have a bit of a childish ease, you can see sketchy marks, spots and just simple lines. Of course, not in all, but you can just think to yourself hey, he likes to scribble with pencils like that too!
Anyhow, I do have some details about how I would have handled the display and experience of it. Since (sadly) I’m not an exhibit making professional or curator, it’s just my ideas as a viewer.
You know how galleries tend to be so quiet and intimidating like am I allowed to breathe or that will make too much noise in here, umm. It wasn’t the case here, remember the TV I mentioned earlier? Well, the whole exhibit was in one very large room, so was the TV and the TV was blasting. Don’t get me wrong, the information was brilliant, but it was somehow interfering with the viewing experience. For the first time I looked forward to the quiet, which was not present. In a way it was good to listen to everything about the works in the background while you’re getting your way round the gallery, but it didn’t feel right this time.
I’ve been to galleries where there is a separate room in which you watch the videos, or use headphones, choose your language, and experience the video one on one – that would have been the perfect solution for me. Also, since the art is owned by a Russian language speaking person, the video was in Russian as well, but with Latvian subtitles. I felt bad for some of the foreigners that I noticed, who couldn’t understand any of it… So this was my only gripe about the whole experience, which is not a big deal, but to such big-deal artists, it could have been a bit more thought out, in my humble opinion.
Either way, it was a great exhibit and anyone in the area should go see it, even if you’re not an artsy person, it’s a part of our strange world and saying I totally had my hand in the airspace of one of Salvador Dali’s sculptures might be worth it. Open until September 27, 2015. Their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/dalipicasso.eu
Categories: My Life in Words