Spending a few days in the warped bizarro world of Barcelona is akin to having your brain cleaned out with a bent bottle brush. At that point I was feeling that the world possessed nothing left up its sleeve with which to surprise me and become mired in a world of normality and averageness. Fortunately, I elected to take a day trip to Figueres, where my faith in the lunacy of mankind became restored.
Figueres, Spain is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, which is comparable to giving birth to Jim Carey. From that point one everyone you come in contact with will fall into one of two categories. They will automatically love you for producing Jim Carey, or they will revile and blame you for you must have done something wrong to produce Jim Carey. There is no middle ground with Jim Carey, nor can you find a person indifferent to the art of Salvador Dali. It's like being Justin Beiber. Half of the world hates you because you create crappy music, whereas, the other half of the population hate you just for being a little wannabe punk.
Figueres itself quickly qualifies as quite quaint, because how often does a writer get an opportunity to take advantage of alliteration using the letter "Q". Getting off the train you can see that they have embraced their role as Dali's birthplace, but not gone overboard making it their entire identity. Nothing so sad as nicknaming themselves "Land of Dali," like Illinois has done with Lincoln. It's been 150 years, Illinois; time to come up with something new to be proud of. Then there's Kentucky, praising themselves for being the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. And of course, Maryland, aka, the state where Abraham Lincoln went to lunch one time and ate an egg salad sandwich.
Figueres contains plenty of tributes to their most famous son, but also seems like a town perfectly comfortable as a charming seaside village with great food and wondrous weather. But let's face it. The reason you go to Figueres is the weirdness. The Dali Museum represents something unique among museums. It's a giant work of art itself designed by the artist. He lived in it and his remains remain there still.
A lot of people think of Dali as a surrealist, but this is only because they have never hiked through the Catalan Mountains of northern Spain. Turns out there really are flowers growing out of enormous eggs, a race of people made out of rocks with drawers coming out of their torsos, and clocks hanging in trees melting in the blistering sun. So really young Dali was simply copying what he witnessed of the world around him.
Okay, I'm just messing with you. Dali was clearly a raving lunatic. And I mean that as the greatest of compliments. When was the last time a sane person accomplished anything worth talking about?
Most museums are housed in buildings with various exhibits placed in separate displays. The Dali Museum is a stream of artistic consciousness unable to be contained within the confines of the building, which is itself part of the masterpiece. The exhibit spills out of the walls and spouts up from the roof and oozes down the streets and alleyways of town.
You have to be diligent to turn around frequently and look behind you, as well as, up, down, and lying on the ground with your knees over your head, because every piece of the art seems to transform into a different work of art depending on the perspective from which you observe it.
Even if you despise Dali's art there is no way you can leave the museum not agreeing he was a genius. You may think he was a genius who created lousy art, but you will no longer argue against the accolade of genius. Observing Dali's creation is like going to a well done magic show, in which you continuously find yourself thinking, "Wait, how did he do that?"
I have visited a lot of amazing museums in my life: The British Museum in London, Prada in Madrid, and, of course, anything Smithsonian just to name a few. These may contain more impressive, historic, and even beautiful exhibits; but somehow whenever I think of memorable museum experiences this one tends to stand out in my mind right up there with those. Perhaps Dali's greatest accomplishment in this work of art was to warp your mind to think more like him. I certainly hope so. Maybe I'm crazy enough to create my own twisted, distorted vision of the world now.

Figueres - Land Of Dali ​. . . Mostly


   Spending a few days in the warped bizarro world of Barcelona is akin to having your brain cleaned out with a bent bottle brush. At that point I was feeling that the world possessed nothing left up its sleeve with which to surprise me and become mired in a world of normality and averageness. Fortunately, I elected to take a day trip to Figueres, where my faith in the lunacy of mankind became restored.
Figueres, Spain is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, which is comparable to giving birth to Jim Carrey. From that point on everyone you come in contact with will fall into one of two categories. They will automatically love you for producing Jim Carrey, or they will revile and blame you for you must have done something wrong to produce Jim Carrey. There is no middle ground with Jim Carrey, nor can you find a person indifferent to the art of Salvador Dali. It's like being Justin Beiber. Half of the world hates you because you create crappy music, whereas, the other half of the population hate you just for being a little wannabe badass.
Figueres itself quickly qualifies as quite quaint, because how often does a writer get an opportunity to take advantage of alliteration using the letter "Q". Getting off the train you can see that they have embraced their role as Dali's birthplace, but not gone overboard making it their entire identity. Nothing so sad as nicknaming themselves "Land of Dali," like Illinois has done with Lincoln. It's been 150 years, Illinois; time to come up with something new to be proud of. Then there's Kentucky, praising themselves for being the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. And of course, Maryland, aka, the state where Abraham Lincoln went to lunch one time and ate an egg salad sandwich.
Figueres contains plenty of tributes to their most famous son, but also seems like a town perfectly comfortable as a charming seaside village with great food and wondrous weather. But let's face it. The reason you go to Figueres is the weirdness. The Dali Museum represents something unique among museums. It's a giant work of art itself designed by the artist. He lived in it and his remains remain there still.
A lot of people think of Dali as a surrealist, but this is only because they have never hiked through the Catalan Mountains of northern Spain. Turns out there really are flowers growing out of enormous eggs, a race of people made out of rocks with drawers coming out of their torsos, and clocks hanging in trees melting in the blistering sun. So really young Dali was simply copying what he witnessed of the world around him.
Okay, I'm just messing with you. Dali was clearly a raving lunatic. And I mean that as the greatest of compliments. When was the last time a sane person accomplished anything worth talking about?
Most museums are housed in buildings with various exhibits placed in separate displays. The Dali Museum is a stream of artistic consciousness unable to be contained within the confines of the building, which is itself part of the masterpiece. The exhibit spills out of the walls and spouts up from the roof and oozes down the streets and alleyways of town.
You have to be diligent to turn around frequently and look behind you, as well as, up, down, and lying on the ground with your knees over your head, because every piece of the art seems to transform into a different work of art depending on the perspective from which you observe it.
Even if you despise Dali's art there is no way you can leave the museum not agreeing he was a genius. You may think he was a genius who created lousy art, but you will no longer argue against the accolade of genius. Observing Dali's creation is like going to a well done magic show, in which you continuously find yourself thinking, "Wait, how did he do that?"
I have visited a lot of amazing museums in my life: The British Museum in London, Prada in Madrid, and, of course, anything Smithsonian just to name a few. These may contain more impressive, historic, and even beautiful exhibits; but somehow whenever I think of memorable museum experiences this one tends to stand out in my mind right up there with those. Perhaps Dali's greatest accomplishment in this work of art was to warp your mind to think more like him. I certainly hope so. Maybe I'm crazy enough to create my own twisted, distorted vision of the world now.