Inspiring Fine Art

If you haven’t been baking bread (yeast sales are up 475%) or making a mini-museum for your gerbils or gecko, you may be immersing yourself in art.
Many of us have been immersing ourselves in virtual tours of museums, studying great art, and others have  become art.

Thousands of recreations of art, done at home, have been posted on line. Many of the works have been skillfully crafted by staff members of the Rijksmuseum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Getty and the Hermitage.

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has challenged art lovers to recreate artworks using three things that are lying around the house.

The practice of creating dramatic scenes, known as tableau vivant or living picture, dates back to the 1700s. The art of tableau vivant is still practiced in Laguna Beach, California every year at the Pageant of the Masters, where residents dress up to recreate famous works of art.

Inspiring Fine Art at VFA

Being inspired by works of art is our constant motivation at the Vertu Fine Art Gallery. Many of the works in our gallery would make wonderful living pictures (that’s not a challenge, just a thought).

Art takes us to places we may never visit, it helps us see the world from different perspectives. it gives us empathy and help us to understand people, places, times, and subjects that we might never have considered before.

You don’t have to put on an orange hat, ride an elephant, wear Pucci Pants or dance ballet to appreciate the fine art available at VFA.

Katherine J. Wu. Miniature Gecko Art Gallery Premieres on the Heels of Viral London Gerbil Museum. Smithsonian Magazine. April 17, 2020.
Katy Kelleher. Art Recreation Is the Only Good Instagram Challenge. The New York Times. April 17, 2020.
Sam Anderson. The Surreal Fine-Art Spectacle in Laguna Beach. The New York Times Magazine. September 12, 2014.

Salvador Dali: Selfies, Symbols and Elephants

If someday I may die, though it is unlikely, I hope the people in the cafés will say, ‘Dalí has died, though not entirely. – Salvador Dali

Dali Lives in St. Pete

Salvador Dali will greet you, talk to you, take a selfie with you and even text it to you.

The extraordinary exhibit, Dali Lives, at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, uses Artificial Intelligence that allows visitors to have life-like interactions with the artist. He walks, he talks and, as he was before his death thirty years ago, Dali, even artificially, is larger than life.

The exhibit uses Dali’s own words to explain himself and his art, and also present-day messages to help educate visitors about the artist’s life and work. Interacting with Dali takes viewing his art to a new level, more personal and, hopefully, more meaningful, for visitors. The exhibit will be on display through December 31, 2029.

Salvador Dali’s Elephants

Sigmund Freud was a hero to Dali, and to many of the other Surrealist painters, who read his radical works, about the unconscious mins, dreams and sexuality, with great zeal. Freud, who was partial to the Old Masters and more traditional works of art, was not very impressed by the surrealists. He had a very unpleasant meeting in the 1920s Andre Breton, writer and leader of the Surrealist movement, who showed up unannounced on Freud’s doorstep and received a less-than-warm welcome.

Dali tried, unsuccessfully, to meet Freud when he was living in Vienna. The two finally met in 1938 in London, to where Freud fled to escape the Nazis. 

Freud was 81, Dali just 34 when they met, both very successful. Dali didn’t get the accolades he’d hoped for during the meeting, but Freud was not as unimpressed as Dali feared.

After the meeting, Freud wrote, to the mutual friend who arranged the meeting, “I really have reason to thank you for the introduction which brought me yesterday’s visitors. For until then I was inclined to look upon the surrealists – who have apparently chosen me as their patron saint – as absolute (let us say 95 percent, like alcohol), cranks. That young Spaniard, however, with his candid and fanatical eyes, and his undeniable technical mastery, has made me reconsider my opinion.”

Freud’s writings may have seemed, to Dali, to give legitimacy to his work. Dali’s symbols, his pairing of many symbols in his dream-like paintings, are open to interpretation…the interpretation of the dreamer and the viewer.

The elephant symbolizes good fortune, strength, even fertility in some cultures. Dali’s elephants have spindly legs and almost appear to be in flight, although their feet, which are more like bird’s than elephant’s, are anchored to the earth. In some paintings they carry an obelisk, after Gian Bernini’s 1667 marble statue in the Piazza della Minerva in Rome.

Dali titled his 1979 lithograph, available at VFA, Celestial Elephant, surrounding it with other recurring symbols…a pyramid, a figure holding a crutch, a pair of dragonflies. Like all of Dali’s works, it is fascinating…and open to interpretation.

Dali’s elephants are so powerful and recognizable, that in a new animated film, about Dali’s friend, collaborator and rival, surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel, Dali’s elephants can be seen parading through the streets. Dali appears in the film, as well.

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles is about Bunuel’s experience filming Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (Land Without Bread) in the poverty stricken Las Hurdes mountains in Spain in 1933. The film is set to be released on August 16, 2019.

The Works of Salvador Dali at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about Celestial Elephant, or any of the other work by Salvador Dali available at VFA.

Dali and Magritte Together in St. Pete

Magritte and Dali at the Dali Museum

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg has put together a unique exhibit that combines the works of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, two of the world’s most illustrious Surrealists. The works in the exhibit are from the 1920s through the 1940s, when both artists were at the height of their creativity.

There are more than thirty paintings in the exhibit, as well as an interactive “cloud room” where visitors are surrounded by surrealist icons and symbols and are welcome to, not just experience the images, but to photograph and create their own surrealist works.

Magritte and Dali was organized in collaboration with the Magritte Museum, part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The exhibit runs through May 19 at the Dali Museum, after which it will travel to the Magritte Museum in Brussels.

The Dali Museum Expansion

The Dali Museum first opened in St.Petersburg, Florida in 1982. A new building, designed by architect Yann Weymouth, was constructed in 2011. The building mirrors Dali’s fantastic visions and houses a collection that includes more than 2,100 works by Salvador Dali, including paintings, drawings, prints, books, sculptures and photos.

The museum hosts over 400,000 visitors a year and is planning a $38 million, two year expansion, which would include a new wing, a parking garage, and expanded community and education spaces.

The Dali Museum is hoping that the expansion will help to make the museum, and St. Pete, a wedding and events destination.

Salvador Dali and the Marx Brothers

Salvador Dali wasn’t a household name in 1937, but his friend, Harpo Marx, was. The Marx Brothers were at the top of their game, with film hits like Duck Soup and a Night at the Opera. Dali and Harpo worked together on a screenplay, which they titled Giraffes on Horseback Salad. They presented the project to Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, who didn’t know what to make of the script and nixed the project.

Writer Josh Frank heard stories about the legendary script and searched for it. He found it…in a museum in France…and turned in script into a graphic novel. Giraffes on Horseback Salad was published by Random House and released in March.

Works by Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte at VFA

The works of both Surrealist masters a available at VFA. Please contact us if you would like more information about work by Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte or any of the other fine artists in our gallery.

Maggie Duffy. Here’s how an expanded Salvador Dali Museum might look. Tampa Bay Times. April 19, 2019.
Peter Breslow. Salvador Dalí Meets The Marx Brothers In ‘Giraffes On Horseback Salad’. NPR. April 7, 2019.

Celestial Elephants in Salvador Dali Land

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Salvador Dali’s life and work continues to enthrall and captivate  art lovers and historians. He was larger than life and was not just a painter, but also a printmaker, sculptor, writer, filmmaker, jewelry and fashion designer, photographer and unabashed self promoter.

With Dali, it was always best to expect the unexpected, like this Alka Seltzer commercial:

Dali Land

A look at Salvador Dali’s life in New York and Spain during the 1970s is set for production at the end of the year.  Ezra Miller is going to play a young Dali, Ben Kingsley the older Dali. Director Mary Harron, best known for American Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol, co-wrote and will direct Dali Land.

The film looks at the world of Dali through the eyes of a young gallery assistant who gets caught up in Dali’s  flamboyant life style and troublesome personal life. The movie will be filmed in Spain and Canada.

Crowdfunding for a Dali in Australia

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) wants to own a Salvador Dali and is crowdfunding to get it. In 2009, the National Gallery held a hugely successful Dali retrospective, and began its search for a Dali of its own.

On loan to NGV from a private collection, Trilogy of the desert: Mirage was created in 1946. The painting was commissioned by the Shulton Cosmetics company to promote a new perfume. The gallery has already made a down payment of $4 million, but still owes $1.5 million. If all goes well, the NGV will become the first public Australian gallery to own a Dali painting.

Salvador Dali and the Celestial Elephant

Salvador Dali actually owned an elephant named Susurus, which was housed at the Barcelona zoo. The elephant appeared in his work as early as 1937,  during what he called his Paranoiac-critical period. In Swans Reflecting Elephants, the swans’ heads transform into reflections of the elephants’ heads and the trees become the bodies of the elephants.

The elephant appears again, this time in a whimsical rendering,  in Dali’s 1944 painting, Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The elephant in the work is based not only on a dream, but also on Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk sculpture in the Piazza della Minerva in Rome.

The elephant whimsy continued in Celestial Elephant, available at VFA, where cherubs trumpet atop the elephant, which walks through the desert on flamingo-like legs. In 1962, Dali was commissioned by Air India to design a promotional ashtray, which was made in porcelain by Limoges. The ashtray is both a swan and an elephant depending on whether it is placed right side up or upside down.

Salvador Dali at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about Celestial Elephant or any of the other works by Salvador Dali for sale at VFA.

See More Salvador Dali Artwork for Sale

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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