We are bound by our experiences. Travel is an easy way to burst our insular Tahoe bubble and expose the boys to new cultures, cuisines, languages and geographies. But the family is still stuck with me – boring, process-oriented, germanic, steady-as-he-goes Dad. Good for family stability, and yes I can bust physical and social comfort zones, but I don’t inspire creativity. Enter Dali.
It was the dream sequence in Hitchcock’s Spellbound that introduced me to Salvador Dali’s work, and my brother Doug who kept me conscient with his own disturbing, intriguing art. In any case I knew Dali would spark the boys’ imagination and expand their appreciation of art, so made the pilgrimage to the Dalí Theatre-Museum in nearby Figueres, his birthplace. With my navigation team of Max, Garmin and Google we arrived on time and were among the first in, so earned some space and good shots.
Dali would have thrived in today’s Selfie age. Always the promoter, he re-uses signature motifs (his moustache, melting clocks, ants, eyes…) in commercial works like Spellbound and his collaboration with Walt Disney, Destino. And this museum was his idea – Dali designed, decorated and curated it. Thus a visit is a walk through his mind – colorful, creative, surreal but also artisan and informed by a sharp grasp of geometry, physics, psychology and philosophy… there are plenty of paths and intriguing images to spark growing-up conversations with teens. The boys delighted in the Cadillac courtyard, the surprising geometric painting of Lincoln (with Gala’s butt making up his cheeks), stereoscopic works long before 3D movies, the Mae West room… Dali is a homage to the unconventional.
Even his words provoke exploratory teen thought and discussion:
- “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”… “Take me, I am hallucinogenic.”
- “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
- “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
- “Surrealism is destructive…it destroys… shackles limiting our vision.”
Bounds broken, we sought a conventional afternoon at Iberia’s easternmost point Cap de Creus to kayak and snorkel. After an hour of wrangling with gear we can rent only sit-on-top kayaks, and again it proves too rough to be fun, so we beach the boats, drive around tourist mecca and settle for a cliff walk before returning to the comfort of our Calella de Palafrugell flat. They’ll forget the comfort… Dali they will remember.