Today, I went to the grand opening of the new Salvador Dali museum.
Salvador Dali is my favorite artist. Most known for his surrealist style and being a complete weirdo, he has been one of the most influential artists of the past century.
So, when I moved to St. Petersburg and found out that they had a museum with the largest collection of his work outside of Spain, I instantly fell in love with it. Better yet, it was on the USF-St. Petersburg campus where I work.
For the past year and a half, I have been waiting for January 11, 2011 - when the museum would be moving down the road to a new location. I watched the building being constructed. I waited. And waited.
Today, it finally came.
The day's events started with a parade. It marched right by my building, so I was able to join in the march to the museum. Everyone in the parade had some of the craziest costumes you will ever see - all in Dali's surreal style.
We walked to the new location, where they did all of the ceremonial ribbon cutting and all the boring stuff. So I went back to work, but I got a wristband that would let me into the museum later in the day.
A few hours later, I returned.
I was lucky enough to be one of the people let into the collection on the day the museum opened.
By this point, I'm sure you're thinking... wow Jeff, you're such a nerd.
Don't judge me!
The inside of the building is amazing. Aside from all of the chaos of the other people inside, it was amazing! The staircase and the windows are the coolest parts. The gallery space is large enough to hold many of his paintings, as well as a lot of sketches that he has done. It also featured a local middle & high school surrealist project. And although I've seen it several times and heard the stories, I still got chills when the docent was explaining my favorite painting there, The Hallucinogenic Toreador (upper right painting- in real life, it's about 20 feet tall, and everything that Dali has hidden and the meaning behind what he included will make your jaw drop.)
Ok, so I scored major nerd points today, but it was so cool!
"There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad."
"Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali."
"I don't do drugs. I am drugs."