I am now officially alone in Barcelona; for four sweet, precious days my time, my mind, and especially my pace is my own.
My mind has expanded in so many directions on this trip that it feels like an unfolded geometric shape, the grid lines leading out in infinite possible directions, with new shapes springing up everywhere there is something to think about (which is everywhere).
I can fly over the picture of my mind in my mind; it’s sparkling, crackling with potential, and everywhere I look, ideas about ideas about ideas; recursive, infinite.
Street art, Barcelona
I like to do original work. That doesn’t necessarily mean that other people haven’t done it before me, it just means that I like ideas that come directly out of my own mind, instead of absorbing rules or precepts from other people before I have the chance to form my own universe of questions, wonders, and ideas.
I noticed something about Dali’s paintings yesterday (and I’m sure that there is a goatload of academic work on this); that changing the angle of view even slightly in one of his pieces results in not only different visual perspective, but it reveals entirely new views, secrets, intimacies.
Look at these two views of the same section of one of his paintings (click them to enlarge).
In the distorted view, the she becomes playful; her smile is more secret, she is suddenly yours, instead of someone’s, and in the perspective of her body, the surrealistic painting hidden in the pointillistic little still life springs to life. Everything in the painting takes on new attitude, and anywhere one looks are new shapes, hidden ideas. Even colours change in different angles, because of the choices he made adding paint.
There are a hundred paintings tucked inside this one painting; I know without having to be told that Dali expects me to look for them, and arranged his little dots accordingly. I wish I had a lifetime to give to him, instead of the shreds of my attention.
These paintings-in-the-paintings aren’t something I can see with my human eyes. I need the camera (or some kind of image; a mirror could do it) to show me. I can stand on a ladder all I want to, and not find what was left for me to see.
In the Dali Museum (designed of course by Dali himself) there is no separation of the humans from the works. The Watchers are only there to stop idiocy that breaks the social contract; vandalism, theft, flash photography.
Dali makes me more dangerous; he encourages me to challenge small-mindedness; his museum is alive, defiant. And I think, Picasso and Miro, they were very alive and defiant too, and what would they say to the way their art is kept behind gates, by the stuffy academic Keepers and Deciders that they themselves shocked and parodied at every turn?
Three details of the Dali painting Enigmatic Details In A Landscape, done in 1934, from three different angles.
Below, another tiny detail of a larger work. I took a lot of shots like this; I tried to find one detail in each piece in the museum that I could photograph like street art, just a piece of a piece of a much larger experience. I’m building a gallery of them on Facebook. It’s a public page, anyone can see it, like the one I’m compiling of street art.
“Portrait of the Bomb As A Young Lemon”
street art, Barcelona