Monday, March 6, 2017

Photo Post: Dalí & Daytrippers in Figueres, Spain

Figueres, Spain
Dalí Theater-Museum
Surrealist paintings have fascinated me ever since first being exposed to them in my 9th-grade art class, especially the works of Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. Whimsical works like The Persistence of Memory and Swans Reflecting Elephants tickled my fancy, while spiritual pieces like The Sacrament of the Last Supper and Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) inspired me with their mysticism.

Figueres, Spain
Dalí Theater-Museum
In the three years I lived and worked in Spain, I went on several pilgrimages to check out the works of some of my favorite Spanish painters, like to Toledo for El Greco and Barcelona for Joan Miró. The mid-sized town of Figueres, just south of the French border in northeast Spain, was the destination for my third painter-pilgrimage, as it was Dalí’s hometown, final resting place, and location for his personal Theater-Museum, a museum that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the frame of one of his own bizarre paintings.

Figueres, Spain
Fig leaves on the flag of a city named after fig trees
This surrealist experience didn’t let me see any of his most famous works, but it was nevertheless an in-your-face glimpse into his wild imagination. Even within the main foyer, the craziness was already cranked up to 11: there was a Cadillac sedan configured so that it was raining inside, because, after all, why can’t it rain both outside a car and inside? The entire duration of my visit was full of such oddities, and I found myself both laughing out loud and blinking in astonishment at what Dalí had come up with.

Figueres, Spain
Church of Sant Pere
After such an otherworldly experience at the Dalí Theater-Museum, it was time to come back down to Earth. I chilled out at a nearby vermouth bar named, so creatively, El Vermut, enjoying a nice little glass of house vermouth with a very Catalan tapa of boquerones (vinegar-cured anchovies) and pa amb tomàquet (bubbly bread with grated tomato).

Figueres, Spain
Castle of Sant Ferran
Figueres was seething with daytrippers from Barcelona when I was there, but apart from the Dalí draw, there really isn’t much to see in this nondescript town named for the Catalan word for “fig trees.” Yes, there’s a so-so Gothic church where Dalí was born, as well as a sprawling fortress at the top of a hill, but unless you’re gaga for Dalí like I was, spend your time in more interesting places like Girona to the south.

What was your favorite photo from this post? Does Dalí’s craziness drive you crazy? Share what you think below in the comments!

For more pictures, check out my album on Flickr.
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