Well Hello Dali

Salvador Dali

What’s better than a visit to see art by Salvador Dali? Seeing art by Frida Kahlo at the same time and place! I took advantage of spring break and traveled south to The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida where the largest collection of Dali art (outside of Europe) is on permanent display. While there, I encountered the current exhibit of Frida Kahlo at the Dali. 

Before I get started, I’ll have to admit I enjoyed Dali’s art more than Frida’s. Dali was just so free spirited and experimental! I was shocked at the level of his technical mastery. When you’re standing face-to-face with a Dali oil painting, it’s his imagination, brushwork and attention to detail that blow you away. That man could PAINT. You can look and look and keep finding more. His imagery morphs, melts, and impacts. Along the way, you’ll learn a bit more about Dali and his contemporaries. Dali seems like a lot of fun to have had as a friend.

Frida Kahlo

Now for Frida. This is my message to her ghost, “Frida, Frida, Frida. We all know you had a painful existence and your art was your therapy. That bus crash changed your life forever and I wish it had never happened. However, you did good things with what you had to work with, even though you only lasted for 47 years and lived with a lot of physical and emotional pain. Thanks for all the monkeys and flowers. You dressed cool and had a helluva time on earth. I especially like it when you got weird, but some stuff is a bit of a drag. You continue to empower a lot of women to be whatever they want to be. Thank you.”

Closing note: The Dali Museum building is composed of gray slab concrete accented with an impressive glass atrium, unique garden, and rocks representative of Dali’s Catalan heritage. The galleries are on the 3rd floor. They sell beer in Cafe Gala!


Time Traveling

Recently I had the pleasure to visit the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and view A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s. A visit to a museum offers revelations into the past that could only be learned by time traveling or historical research, but through art and artifacts, a museum visit offers visual satisfaction and tangible evidence. The lure of a tactile experience is just beyond reach! For tactile, visit the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, also part of the NOMA collection.

Located a few blocks from my Mid-City accommodation, NOMA is located in the 1300-acre City Park and is an impressive neo-classical building situated a short walk from Morning Call, a great place for beignets and café au lait in the morning. My visit was on a Monday, and the crowds were manageable. Admission is very moderate, just $12 for adults. I was delighted to received purple beads with a NOMA badge to wear during my visit.

I spent time reading the information, staring up close and then backing away for the full experience, and took only a few pictures. My iPhone was sadly broken so I did my best! A surprising thing that I did not know was that Venice was composed of 118 small islands. I had previously thought it was flooded low land! However, due to my art history classes, at least I was aware of the lifestyle and grandeur of this period.

Would I want to live there, then, or here and now? That’s a hard choice! A bit unrealistic unfortunately, but a very romantic notion.

Learn more at https://noma.org/exhibitions/life-seduction-venice-1700s.