Salvador Dalí in Catalunya (3:46)
Salvador Dalí, the master of surrealism, spent his most creative years in Cadaqués, near Barcelona. The Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres displays the unconventional artist’s mind-bending work, which often features photorealistic images set in bizarre dreamscapes.
Complete Video Script
For a radically different slice of Catalunya, we're heading north up the Costa Brava. The town of Figueres has the Salvador Dalí Museum — the essential Dalí sight. Ever the entertainer and promoter, Dalí personally designed, decorated, and painted it to showcase his life's work. He was buried right here in the floor of this room in 1989, and the museum serves as a mausoleum to the artist's creative spirit.
When Salvador Dalí was asked, "Are you on drugs?" he replied, "I am the drug…take me." Dalí produced some of the most thought-provoking and trailblazing art of the 20th century. His surrealistic imagery continues to disturb and intrigue to this day.
The best-known of the Surrealists, Dalí created photorealistic images set in bizarre dreamscapes. His life changed forever in 1929, when he met an older, Russian woman named Gala. She became his wife, muse, model, manager, and emotional compass.
An audience of golden statues looks down on the museum. Above Dalí's personal 1941 Cadillac hangs the boat enjoyed by Dalí and his soulmate, Gala. When she died he was devastated. Below the boat drip blue tears.
Squint at the big digital Abraham Lincoln…and he comes into focus. Look closer and you see Abe's facial cheeks are Gala's other cheeks.
The Homage to Mae West room is a tribute to the sultry seductress. Dalí loved her attitude. She was to conventional morality what he was to conventional art.
Facial features are furniture, arranged so that from the intended vantage point everything comes together — Mae West.
The ceiling of the lounge is a highlight. It shows Gala and Dalí as they reach for the heavens. Dalí's drawers are wide open and empty, indicating he gave everything to his art.
Dalí enjoyed his most creative years nearby in the fishing village of Cadaqués, which has long been a haven for intellectuals and artists alike. Its craggy coastline, sun-drenched colors, and laid-back lifestyle inspired artists from Matisse and Duchamp, to Picasso. For today's tourists, mellow Cadaqués offers a peaceful beach-town escape near Barcelona.
In the 1920s Salvador Dalí and Gala moved in, bringing international fame to this sleepy Catalan port.
Casa Dalí shows how a home can reflect the creative spirit of an artistic genius and his muse. His studio was equipped with an innovative easel. It cranked up and down to allow the artist to paint while seated, as he did eight hours a day. The bohemian-yet-divine living room comes complete with a mirror to reflect the sunrise onto their bed each morning.
Like Dalí's art, his home defies convention. And like the artist himself, it's playful and provocative.