Teenage Dali Dreams

In 1997, it was basically a requirement if you identified as an alternative or artsy teenager (we were lovingly or perhaps not-so-lovingly referred to as freaks in my school) to have a Dali poster adorning at least one wall in your bedroom. It was my personal mission to cover every square inch of my walls with either clippings from art magazines of Dali paintings or Trent Reznor’s face. How else would people know I was angsty and awesome?

Actually, everything I owned was covered in some taped together collage of teenage expression.

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I remember my introduction to Dali’s work. Fourteen years old, sat in a random field in the middle of a breezy summer night under the Tennessee stars. I’m sure my parents thought I was at a sleepover watching Jared Leto be moody in My-So-Called-Life.

I wasn’t.

Flashlight in hand, thumbing through a giant coffee table sized book of Dali paintings. Absorbed in the colours, it was just me and the sea of grass bending rhythmically against the wind. Dark Side of the Moon softly echoing from the speakers of Big John’s truck parked a few meters away. One of those ‘it’s so good to be alive’ moments.

I remember thinking that this Dali guy really gets it. He sees it all. He includes it all. All of the things that matter. What a genius.
One of those extremely rare instances as a teenager where you actually feel understood. And you understand.

Dreaming big at that point in my life included a fantasy involving living in California one day. I’d be an actress or an artist or something bright and bohemian. You are full of so much magic and pain and possibility at 14. I’d resigned myself to the very real possibility that I’d probably never see a Dali painting in person.

But that was ok. I’m from a small town and my expectations were always reasonable and carefully managed.

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I never ever in a million years dreamt that I’d regularly have the opportunity to see and experience the things I have done. Living in Europe. A stone’s throw from all of the great works.

It’s mind-blowing and I’m still not 100% sure how everything aligned and got me here and onto this path. And the fact that it’s still so limitless. There is still so much available to me I’ve yet to explore. Damn, it’s intense.

Every gallery, every beautiful old red brick building I pass…it’s not lost on me for a second.
I’m thankful even when it’s shit and rainy and I’m tired and the London air smells like trash and burning.
This place is horrible and fantastic and I’m goddamn lucky.
At least I’ve had the choice. I have had the opportunity and that’s everything.

Blah blah blah. Nostalgia. I’m waxing now. I’ll stop.

Right, so Dali. I was heading somewhere with this I promise.

I had the honour and privilege to visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain last year. I never got around to posting the photos because well, honestly it’s been a challenging year and I’ve been focusing on other things and not focusing etc.

Alas, I want to get these up because it was a breathtaking experience and it’s just time move on with more recent photography so here we are…

What an absolute dream to visit this place, truly. It was cathartic and heartbreaking and confusing and exhilarating to see all of these works in person. I hope you enjoy.

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