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The New Wisdom




Philadelphia

I don’t give Philly enough props. It’s only 15 or 20 minutes away, but I never really think of it when I try to come up with things to do or places to eat.

This weekend Amy and I visited the Salvador Dali exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I’m no art person. I know nothing! All I knew coming in was that he was responsible for the melting clocks painting (actually called The Persistence of Memory), he was kinda crazy, and that I wanted to become more cultured.

Well let me tell you, Dali is freakin’ awesome. The exhibit did a great job of grouping his work into different stages of his art career. The PMoA really put together one hell of a collection, judging from the plaques describing each work. Pieces came from all over the world. There were so many! I was in the gallery for about 3 hours and I could have easily spent more time staring at Dali’s wackiness.

What’s beautiful, though, is that he wasn’t insane. Well, maybe a little, but there was a clear method to his madness. Unlike others, he believed surrealism should be painted realistically. Meaning, rather than painting your dreams crazy-like, make them as photo-realistic as possible. He was obsessed with Millet’s The Angelus, believing that instead of the praying farmers most people saw, the painting was actually about the woman as a preying mantis, ready to devour her husband after seducing him. The husband’s hat hides an erection, Dali believed, showing that the male is eager to receive his death by sex.

There’s so much to say about this guy. He painted about the Spanish Civil War and World War II (before the war; he knew Neville Chamberlain’s negotiations with Adolf Hitler would fail). He put grotesque self-portraits of himself in lots of his surrealist work, and also tended to add ants and grasshoppers. Also, unlike other surrealists who thought surreal art should be created passively (I guess that means unconsciously), Dali saw nothing wrong with adding his active thoughts, which were often sexual in nature. After studying physics, he coupled it with newfound faith in Catholicism to create art that embodied what he called “Nuclear Mysticism”.

I can’t do the man justice. Like I said, I’m no art guy. This exhibit was truly awesome, though. I wish I had seen it earlier so I could blog about it earlier and more of my friends and family could get a chance to see it. Brilliant, positively brilliant!

I almost got the catalogue (big book full of his work), but I figured I could find it on Amazon and I was right! Read more about him. He’s so awesome.

Anyway… (sorry that was so long) For Amy’s birthday, Amy’s friend Maria took us to a Japanese fusion place called Swanky Bubbles. Very cool place. We had the Edamame Gnocchi (good; Amy loved it; I liked it; they’re soft doughy soy bean balls in creamy sauce), Miso Glazed Chilean Seabass (f’ing awesome), Pad Thai (I’ve had better), Volcanic Lobster Roll (spicy; very good), Unagi Roll (typical eel roll; very good), and Old City Roll (had cream cheese; don’t like cream cheese). We all got a free shot of something (I forget the drink) since it was Amy’s birthday. The maitre d’ even had the shot with us. Great place! I want to go back.


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