A Surreal Journey to Costa Brava

Dear “provide name,” I hope I could share with you how the radiant colors of the sun drench the marvelous and artistic towns and communities of Costa Brava and how I find myself dazzled and mesmerized by its natural and artistic heritage. It still amazes me how a fair amount of money can take you to uncover those priceless historical and cultural treasures, settled unscathed in those small Spanish provinces. The province of Girona is an interesting location where nature, culture and arts intertwine; hence, several gems of the Surrealist movement were conceived in these historical towns of Spain.

Costa Brava, the place that witnessed and harbored Salvador Dali’s youth, is notably expressive in communicating the charms of its natural and artistic heritage. The art work entitled “The Accommodations of Desire,” is one of Salvador Dali’s contributions to the Surrealist Art collections. It is an oil painting, created in 1929, as a portrayal of Dali’s inner fears and anxieties concerning his personal relationships.

Costa Brava, literally translated as rugged coast, was the term coined by the journalist Ferran Agullo to refer to the shoreline of Catalona, a province in Girona, Spain situated between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees regions (McInerney). It is a Spanish setting that traces its cultural and historical roots from its ancient Medieval and Roman ancestors. The place is generally known for its charming coastline, where the typical weather is usually favorable for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

Most of its inhabitants observe and follow the beliefs of Roman Catholicism, thus several of their festivities and other forms of entertainment were influenced by religion. The geographical location of the area established and promoted diverse influences from other countries, and these influences are reflected in the region’s architectural and cultural styles. Europe in the early 1920’s was pervaded by Surrealism, a cultural movement that marked its significant influence in the arts.

Its foundation originate from Dadaism, a movement established by writers and artists in order to express their insights concerning the political chaos that provoked the start of World War I. Surrealism in art is described as the representation of “external reality in relation to the inner world of consciousness” (Matthews, 225). It is a modernistic movement influenced by the concept of psychoanalysis as popularized by Sigmund Freud. The center of Surrealist movement was France but it became widely influential in other European countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany.

The Surrealist art work “The Accommodations of Desire” by Salvador Dali is a depiction of surreal figures which symbolizes horror and fear. Seven white rocks are depicted in the painting, each sketched with various symbolic figures. The art work’s depiction of a lion’s head stands out and it was described as a metaphor for Dali’s formidable father (Bennet). Other symbolical figures illustrated are a woman’s head, colony of ants, partial human figures, hair, and water containers.

The variation of sizes and scale of depicted objects together with playful use of light and shadow create the three-dimensional effect. The art work employs the use of warm-toned colors; moreover, asymmetrical balance of the painting’s over-all content is also portrayed. Dali’s personal relationships, specifically his romantic and paternal associations, are reflected in the art work. The painting seems to communicate the artist’s confused mindset in choosing between following his father’s guidance or pleasing his romantic desires.

Salvador Dali was born on May 11, 1904 in Catalonia, Spain. At an early age, he revealed great talent and interest in drawing and painting. Although he was not able to finish his formal education in the exclusive art school he attended, his name became popular and widely associated with the Surrealist art movement. He explored other artistic fields such as film, literature, sculpture and photography and he also observed, analyzed and contributed to various modernistic art styles.

He died on January 23, 1989 in Figueras, Spain but his contributions in the world of art persist to remind the world of his genius and versatility. Another Surrealist painter is Joan Miro, whose works influenced Salvador Dali’s styles. During Dali’s early visits in Paris, Miro introduced him to Pablo Picasso, an already established name in the art industry. One of Miro’s famous art works is “The Potato” painted in 1928. Similar to Dali’s “The Accommodations of Desire,” Miro’s painting also exemplifies the dreamlike and strange characters of Surrealist art.

Like Dali, Miro portrayed his current mindset and sentiments in his art work. But unlike “The Accommodations of Desire,” the emotional theme depicted by “The Potato” is cheery and playful. Miro’s art work employs a wide range of color palette, including the fusion of warm and cool hues. Its general theme is communicative but not disturbing, contrasted by Dali’s “The Accommodations of Desire” which is expressive in a troubling and terrifying manner. The painting “The Accommodations of Desire” is presently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Despite the distance that this art work has traveled, its root remained attached to its creator’s hometown. Because despite the several miles that Salvador Dali has seen, his core remained anchored in his childhood homeland. To see the wonders of Costa Brava is to trace the origin of Dali’s exceptional legacy which made my surreal journey an extraordinary and delightful experience. Sincerely, “your name”.

Works Cited

Matthews, J. H. The Imagery of Surrealism. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1977. Bennet, Lennie. Dali Reframed. St. Petersburg Times. 21 February 2005. 06 December 2007 < http://www. sptimes. com/2005/02/21/Floridian/Dali_reframed. shtml>. McInerney, Sarah. “Spain: The Rugged Coast – Forget The Typecasting And Savour The Spectacular Vision Of The Costa Brav. ” EzineArticles 11 December 2006. 06 December 2007 <http://ezinearticles. com/? Spain:-The-Rugged-Coast—Forget- The-Typecasting-And-Savour-The-Spectacular-Vision-Of-The-Costa- Brav&id=383152>.