The Dalí Museum
Did you want more moving, musical, storytelling art the moment Van Gogh Alive left The Dalí?
Well, I have good news for you. Thanks to a partnership between The Dalí and Grande Experiences, you can now experience Salvador Dalí’s works similarly.
What’s it like? How does it work? And how does it compare to the Van Gogh Alive experience?
Grande Experiences brought Van Gogh and Dalí’s works to life using SENSORY4 technology — a unique combination of motion graphics, surround sound and high-definition projectors that bring visual art to life. Yet, given the differences in personality and style between the two artists, the touring Van Gogh Alive and the now ongoing Dalí Alive 360 are vastly different experiences.
Stepping into Van Gogh’s work is like stepping into a landscape so beautiful it could only exist in your dreams.
Stepping into Dalí’s paintings is like stepping into a fever dream. Skeletons ride bicycles around a piano-shaped fountain, time melts, still lives move, and the building blocks of our memories fall to our ankles.
Dalí Alive 360 immerses viewers in Dalí’s life, work and favorite obsessions, moving from school to falling in love to bragging about himself. Unlike Van Gogh Alive, the immersion is complete here.
Creating a separate dome structure for this experience provides something you can’t get in the museum’s galleries — Dalí’s work projected onto every square inch, from the surrounding walls to the ground beneath your feet. And though floor elements were present in The Dalí’s version of Van Gogh Alive, these didn’t cover every inch of ground as in the brand new Dalí Dome.
In one moment, as pink petals and leaves danced from floor to ceiling, I could have sworn that I, too, was in love with Gala. Images of food swirl around me in another moment, and I feel like a piece of fruit in Dalí’s bowl.
Dalí’s use of motion makes his work a perfect pairing for this technology. Although not famous for it, Dalí flirted with animation during his career. But you already know that if you made it out to 2016’s Disney and Dalí: Architects of Imagination and saw Dalí’s animated short, Destino. If you didn’t see it, it’s on YouTube and now Disney+.
Animation aside, even in Dalí’s paintings, the motion’s implied. From the airborne knives in Still Life-Fast Moving to the cycling skeletons in Sentimental Colloquy and the ferocious tigers in Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Waking, objects appear to fly, cycle and leap across Dalí’s paintings.
Seeing technology used to turn this implied motion into actual motion feels like seeing Dalí’s paintings as they existed in his head — before he committed paint to canvas. Like fleeting thoughts or distant memories, the images come and go, circling the dome’s walls like hands on a clock, sinking to the floor and rising to the ceiling with each new beat.
Grand Experiences pairs these images with Dalí’s history, artistic intentions, and boasting – all distilled into short quotes and paragraphs, like the sections drawn from Van Gogh’s letters for Van Gogh Alive.
Van Gogh says things like, “The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting,” and “I dream of painting, and then I paint my dream.”
Dalí says, “I have found the way for future painting; I am the savior of modern painters.”
While Van Gogh quietly shares his passion for painting in letters to his brother, Dalí boasts loudly of his talents to anyone who will listen. And these words are as much a part of the experience as the paintings.
In Van Gogh’s landscapes, I’m reminded of all that’s beautiful in the world. In Dalí’s dreams, I’m mesmerized by the beautiful chaos of life and death. And then I wake up.