Salvador Dali exhibition through the Curator’s eyes

A win-win combination for the immortal glory

Reading time 4 minutes

On January, 28, the large exhibition “Salvador Dali. Magical art ” opened its doors to the public in Moscow Manege. Everyone, like Elvis Presley, knows him. Thanks to bewitching paintings, mustache sharp as rapiers and a laid-back walk with an anteater. Painter, graphic artist, fashion designer, sculptor, performer and animator, he staged the ballet “Mad Tristan” and painted the ChupaChups logo, without changing himself.

Monsa Ager, the director of the Dali Museum, helped us to understand better the blossoming complexity of the creator.

In search of immortality

I would call Dali a true universal creator: an artist, graphic artist, sculptor, someone who can translate reality into a completely different plane. But first of all, he is a painter. Interested in classicism, the Renaissance, science, mysticism, he was able to achieve a triumph in surrealism, but did not stop there. He worked with well-known fashion houses, painted the covers of magazines and created jewelry.

He was a humble man who understood that creating a shocking image was simply necessary for his art. All his life, a struggle of becoming as good as his brother, followed him. His name was also Salvador (he died nine months before the birth of the future artist). In his autobiography, Salvador Dali wrote that he had been searching for real faith all his life, but never found a suitable one. Science gave more answers, considering that the artist aspired to immortality. And working on his art, he earned the immortality.

Dali’s secret is kept in the ability to reflect the anxieties of people, their dreams and fears in a very realistic way. When you look at the work of Salvador, you always see elements that cause discomfort, it is impossible to look at them calmly. So, the artist provokes the viewer to play a game. He arouses curiosity. At first glance, it seems that everything is clear in the picture, but then we go deeper and deeper into this tricky game, noticing all the new elements, details and symbols. As a result, the artist leads us into this complex maze and leaves us alone with ourselves and our thoughts. And whether you get out of this labyrinth or not, it is up you.

Symbols

Clock is a favorite Dali’s symbol. The artist was fascinated by Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The shape of the clock in his work is fluid and unstable. It shows the master’s interest in the contrast between the soft and hard state of the object.

The Persistence of Memory, 1931
The Persistence of Memory, 1931

The perspective plays a very important role in all Dali’s works. It is an indicator of both time and the depth of a person’s subconscious.

Double images are constantly hidden on his canvases. Perhaps most often they appear as a self-portrait of the artist. This is probably a type of narcissism: Dali was constantly ill in childhood, so he was given a lot of attention – family, doctors, relatives – he still had a need for constant care until his death.

The Invisible Man, 1929-1933
The Invisible Man, 1929-1933

A face with an airplane is the image of a just dropped atomic bomb, which instantly explodes in the right corner, right next to a clock twisted into a tube and a human figure. It instantly affects the world, the passage of time and a human life. Other watches are leaning against the head. They flow down, hinting that the idea of the length of time after the appearance of the atomic bomb has changed.

Melancholy Atomic, 1945
Melancholy Atomic, 1945

Tears, a sad blue face and shadows demonstrate the artist’s attempt to find a place for his art in a new world.

Cracked elements such as vases, clocks, columns represent unbearable human pain.

Color and the turn of the head are homage to Diego Velazquez. Dali turned to his works quite often in the last period of the career.

Seated Figure Contemplating a 'Great Tapeworm Masturbator', 1981
Seated Figure Contemplating a ‘Great Tapeworm Masturbator’, 1981

Vertical figures in the background are cypress trees, which the hero of the picture (presumably Salvador Dali himself) reproduces from his childhood memories. He saw them through the window at school.

The male figure on the left – Dali himself, young, twenty-year-old. His whole life is yet to come. Light stripes symbolize good memories from life, dark ones – awareness of the inevitable end.

Portrait of Gala with Rhinocerotic Symptoms, 1954
Portrait of Gala with Rhinocerotic Symptoms, 1954

Recognizable features of Gala can also be considered as a certain symbol – inexhaustible love, passion, inspiration and sex. They appear in his works throughout his entire life – sometimes with a naked torso, then with a portrait, sometimes she is only taken apart into elements – but Gala is always recognizable.

 

Tarantino made a romantic film with a terrible ending

The love story of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski which turned into a tragedy

Reading time 8 minutes

«Once Upon a Time in Hollywood», a three hours long retro filmed by Quentin Tarantino, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is based on the real events of 1969. The main roles were performed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie played the main character. The film is timed to the 50th anniversary of the death of Hollywood actress Sharon Tate.

Margot Robbie played the main character in the «Once Upon a Time in Hollywood» movie

Sharon Tate was one of the most beautiful Actresses of her generation. She became widely known after her role in the film “Valley of the Dolls” in 1967. At that time, the young actress also married the famous Director Roman Polanski. Hollywood couple attracts attention: she is a young actress with model features, he is a talented, but not the most charming Director.

Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski got married in 1967

During World War II Polanski and his family got into the Krakow Ghetto. Having seen all the horrors of the war, the Director shot his movies in dark colors and the genre of psychological thriller. Sharon is the complete opposite: she was born and raised in the American family of the officer. Since childhood, she participated in various beauty contests and aspired to world fame.

She began her actress career as a model at beauty contests in the US

Polanski and Tate met at a casting for the film «The Fearless Vampire Killers» in 1967. «She made a big impression on me and I called her,» says Polanski about their first meeting. During the filming of the movie, between the Director and the actress broke out romantic feelings. Polanski was patient with Tate, who suffered from her inexperience in the film industry. Once they needed seventy takes for just one scene.

In the «The Fearless Vampire Killers» the Director also acted as the lover of Tate’s character

Sharon Tate broke off her engagement to her longtime lover Jay Sebring because of Polanski. For two years, the Hollywood couple enjoyed the relationship and traveled the world. The Director often took his Muse on business trips and on film shoots. In early 1969, the Polanskis learned about the imminent addition to the family.

Despite the label of the most unusual couple of Hollywood, Tate was happily being married to Polanski

In the summer of 1969 in Europe, Polanski was shooting his new film — «The Day of the Dolphin». Tate was with him, but due to her pregnancy she left for America. When she said goodbye to her husband, Sharon was very much worried, as if she felt that this was their last meeting.The Director embracing his pregnant wife thought that he might not see her again. But quickly pushed away the bad thoughts.

The couple was waiting for their firstborn, who already had a name — Paul Richard

In a country house near Los Angeles, Tate spent the summer days waiting for her husband. On the 8th of August, 1969, the actress spoke with Polanski, who once again postponed his arrival to America. That night, Tate’s sisters were supposed to look after her, but Sharon refused their help. Without knowing it, she saved the lives of her family.

The motives for the murder of Sharon Tate and her friends are still not disclosed

The evening of the same day Tate spent in the company of her friends, when followers of Charles Manson broke into her house. They massacred everyone, including two random witnesses. Sharon was 9 months pregnant and begged to spare her unborn child, but the cultists only tortured her. They wrote «Pig» on the front door in her blood. This crime was recognized as the most brutal in the XX century.

Roman Polanski allowed to take a picture of himself with the inscription, which was left by the killers of his wife

Roman Polanski could not come to his senses for a long time and suspected all of his friends in this murder. Only after the arrest of Charles Manson’s group, the Director calmed down, but could not continue shooting the film «The Day of the Dolphin». He believed that it was because of this project he had to leave his beloved wife. Polanski returned to his work with the film «Macbeth», in which he used a lot of blood and cruelty. When the English film critic Kenneth Turan reproached him for this, he replied: «You were not at my house last summer».

Roman Polanski admitted that he tried to commit suicide several times because of the loss of his pregnant wife

Polanski did not give his permission to Quentin Tarantino to use his story in the film. Because of that, the current wife of the Director criticized Tarantino. He, in turn, addressed the sister of Sharon who approved the project.

The greatest films of all times

The best black and white films for winter evenings

Reading time 6 minutes

During cold winter nights you can make mulled wine, dive into a blanket, and watch black and white movies. Those which characters of Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth were watching in the second part of Sex in the City. true masterpieces keep thrilling and never get old. Their black-and-white aesthetics as well as acting still fascinate people. 

All About Eve (1950)

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Plot: the competition between a Broadway legend Margo Channing (Bette Davis) and her fan, an amateur actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). The audience can also see Marilyn Monroe in a small episodic role. For Marilyn it is one of the first roles in her career. The movie won six Academy Awards, including Best Film from any Source award. Half a century later, an eccentric Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar creates an allusion of the story in his All About My Mother film.

A shot from Everything abot Eve
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Director: Elia Kazan
It is an adaptation of Tennessee Williams‘s play of the same name which brings us to poor districts of New Orleans. An aging, but still beautiful Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) and her sister’s husband Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando) face the contradictions. The film won a lot of awards, including Vivien’s Academy Award nomination for Best Actress which, according to the actress led her to madness.

Трамвай «Желание»
Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire
Roman Holiday (1953)

Director: William Wyler
It is a light romantic comedy about a princess and an American journalist which touches more than one generation. The narrative is very simple, it tells the well-known story of love between a princess and a commoner. Audrey Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. It happened eight years prior her most recognizable role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s film.

Римские каникулы
Audrey Hepburn and  Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday
Some Like It Hot (1959)

Director: Billy Wilder
The film starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon which is often being called the best comedy in the movie history. The story of adventurers, hiding from gangsters, touring with the women’s orchestra, is known all over the world. The film won Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award and became a leading film not only in the US, but also in USSR.

Мэрилин Монро
Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kane
Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Those, who love being titillated, can watch a psychological horror film by Hitchcock. The film is construed as one of the key movies of all times. The principles of showing the subconscious fear of the characters, used by the director, influenced all subsequent horror films.

Психо
Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Director: Mike Nichols
Elizabeth Taylor confessed in her memoirs that the role of Martha was the best in her career because during the whole shooting process she was Acting. A family drama about a relationship between loving and hating each other spouses caused a resonance among viewers and critics. The film built on conflicts and cursing which realistically shows family relationships. The film won five American Academy Awards, including one for Best Actress.

A frame from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 
Manhattan (1979)

Director: Woody Allen
One of the most popular Woody Allen’s film takes the viewer to his favorite city. Passions, doubts, and contradictions of the characters are imbued with the rhythm of Manhattan. Viewers, critics, and new Yorkers themselves agree that the director has created a cinematic anthem of the city.

Манхэттен
According to critics, Manhattan is the best Allen’s film