Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Walt and Salvador

My mother was quite the artist when she was a teenager, growing up in NYC. So talented, in fact, that—according to family lore—she was offered a scholarship to study with Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí, when she graduated from high school. Instead, she came to California, where she met my father and, at age 19, became a housewife and mother, like everyone else. Nevertheless, as a kid I was smitten by the romantic notion of what-might-have-been and became fascinated by the works of Salvador Dalí.

Two of Mom's best paintings (click on image to enlarge)

The Disney Family Museum is currently featuring an exhibit on Dalí and his relationship with Walt Disney. An odd pair, to be sure, but the museum does an excellent job of paralleling the subversive art of both men, until 1937 when Dalí proclaims, in a letter, that he’s going to California to meet one of his favorite “fellow surrealists,” Walt Disney! They eventually decide to work on a film together, Destino, animated by Dalí, but you can no doubt figure out how that particular story ends (think: Mickey Mouse vs. dripping clocks).

Dalí painting

Despite their differences, the two cultural giants remained friends and, in the late 1950s, visited each other’s homes. My favorite photo in the entire exhibit shows a very regal and straight-backed Dalí riding the narrow-gauge train, Lilly Belle, in Walt’s Brentwood backyard.

The exhibit runs till January 3, 2016. Highly recommended!


P.S. In addition to the Dalí, there is also a small but wonderful exhibit, about Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, in the basement of the main museum. Quotations, photos and footage from the old Disney TV shows capture Walt’s vision of the future.

Hip couple of the future
Drawing of my beloved Monsanto House
And, of course, me

No comments: