Sort of. I’m going to just say it up front: I don’t like Dali. However, there is, like so often in life, a caveat.
Once upon a time, I associated Dali only with the melting clocks and all of the surreal nonsense that I hated. Then I discovered (by way of a Pawn Stars episode, of all things) that he once did a series of illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. I was entranced. They’re beautiful, colorful and weird in a way that just works with Alice.
If money was no object, you can guarantee that I’d be hunting down one of the full suites.
Well, today, I got to see one of the prints in person. I have no idea if it was authentic or not, but I’d like to pretend that it was, and from all I’ve researched, everything looked right. I work in a frame shop and when I started on this order, my first response was “is this what I think it is?” I opened it up and nearly screamed. I certainly danced and squealed like a little girl.
I got to frame this. It was absolutely lovely. When the owner came to pick it up later, I told her that she’d made my day. I love getting to frame things like this. When we get something in that I’m interested in, you can tell. I get as excited as if it were mine, generally cooing “pretty!” as I work, every time I lay a new component down. Mats? “Pretty!” Glass? “Pretty!” The frame? “Beautifuuuuul!” I especially do this if the components actually work well with the artwork and had some thought put into them, other than just a plain black or brown frame and white or black mats.
But back to Dali. If someone had told me years ago that he did more than just the clocks and had actually shown me some samples, I wouldn’t have been so staunchly anti-Dali and refused to even look at books of his work. I love his Alice, and I’ve seen some other sketches that I really like as well. (I also recently framed a poster that featured a horse and rider sketch; it was really cool too.)
My point is, why is it that the mainstream image of an artist has to be pigeonholed? Dali = melting clocks. Picasso = angular, freaky women. Even as an artist myself, if that’s all I first know of an artist, I’m not going to be interested in learning more. In the last couple of years, mostly by accident, I’ve discovered artists that I never would have wanted anything to do with before. If I had seen Picasso’s earlier work or sketches before I’d seen Guernica, I would have been a lot more interested. When it comes to those angular, freaky women, I wish I’d seen Les Demoiselles d’Avignon a lot sooner, because even though I really don’t like cubism, there’s something about that painting that I do like.
I will still never love Dali or Picasso, or probably half a dozen other artists, but I don’t hate them anymore either. Any artists you feel the same way about? Who did you absolutely despise and then find out you shouldn’t have said “I will never like them?”