Friday, August 17, 2018
News Roundup

Dalí and da Vinci:great minds, separated by 5 Centuries

It's quite the startling affair to witness a Renaissance image of Leonardo da Vinci, the one with his voluptuous locks and thoughtful expression, mixed with the pointed mustache and absurdly wide eyes of Salvador Dalí. Although the two artists may seem on opposite sides of the spectrum, they have more in common than what one might posit.

Da Vinci was the epitome of rational thinking, with math theorems, studies of the human body and impossible machine designs that were beyond his time overflowing from his mind. Dalí was the maverick surrealist that sexualized bread, believed melting cheese resembled fluid clocks and had multiple love affairs with men and women.

Calm versus hyper. Pensive humanist versus obnoxious egotist. The list of disparities could morph into a never-ending stream of differences, but that is not the objective of the "Dalí & da Vinci: Minds, Machines and Masterpieces" show that is on display at the Dalí Museum in downtown St. Petersburg. Fresh off the high of the Picasso, Warhol, and Marvels of Illusion show, this unconventional museum brings yet another highly anticipated and insightful exhibition to the art world.

Da Vinci was a Renaissance prodigy during the 15th and 16th centuries, but his knack for science, religion and new ideas resonated with Dalí (born in 1904). When one enters the gallery, the setup that meets the eye is surprisingly similar to that of the recent Picasso / Dalí, Dalí / Picasso show; a portrait of da Vinci hangs next to one of Dalí, their faces different but their inherent eccentricities strikingly similar. The gallery contains more than 75 works, most of which are print reproductions of da Vinci works and images by Dalí that contain a similar idea or central point. For example, the viewer first encounters a strange photograph of a nude Dalí crouched like a fetus inside a small egg; the image beside it is a sketch by da Vinci detailing a human fetus inside the womb.

There are no actual sketches by da Vinci because those priceless works, many of which are in Europe, are too delicate and revered to travel thousands of miles. Having a real da Vinci would have made the exhibition immensely better, but the paneled prints were sufficient enough to reveal the connection between two brilliant minds separated by centuries.

Calm and colored with cool hues of gray and blue, the next room beckons to the patrons' inner love of rational art by displaying The Last Supper by da Vinci. This massive print, only a few feet shorter than the original one hanging in Milan, instantly mesmerizes the viewer with its linear perspective, psychological reactions of the disciples and the peaceful, almost morose expression on Jesus' face.

On the wall next to this larger than life work is a print reproduction of Dali's version of The Last Supper. Officially named The Sacrament of the Last Supper and finished in 1955, this painting is markedly different than da Vinci's. The disciples' faces are hidden, the rather undefined chest of God rises above the scene like an awkward movie poster background and the face of Jesus resembles an ethereal elf in Lord of the Rings. However, the geometry and mathematical precision directly borrow from da Vinci, as well as the hues of blue.

The exhibition continues with religious and mythological works by da Vinci paired with similar ones by Dali. Both artists had a strange fascination with birds. Portrait of my Dead Brother by Dalí was placed in this gallery next to a print of The Virgin and Child With St. Anne by da Vinci (c.1510). Dalí's image contains a rather foreboding vulture at the top of the morbid scene, while a bird is purportedly hidden within the elegant clothing folds of the Virgin in the da Vinci work. Although it was a stretch using Freudian analysis with da Vinci, it was still entertaining to think that unconscious dreams inspired some of the genius of the Renaissance prodigy.

Beside wacky models of da Vinci sketches and a mannequin aquarium, the most unsettling installation was a makeshift room featuring The Venus de Milo With Drawers, a surreal sculpture crafted by Dalí in 1936.

As if the figure wasn't bizarre enough (Venus has drawers coming out of her body with pompoms for handles), the room she graced pulsated with warm and cool colors and let out extremely suggestive sighs every couple of seconds. The disconcerting conditions were made to make the viewer feel as if he or she was within the living, breathing body of Venus herself. It is extremely creepy. Nonetheless, it is definitely an experience one won't easily forget.

Although this show wasn't as thrilling or "high art" as the Picasso or Warhol shows, it is worth seeing merely because most people do not think Dalí and da Vinci are heavily related. However, Dalí was highly influenced by da Vinci and even appropriated the mastermind's sketches into his own paintings (look out for Enchanted Beach with Three Fluid Graces by Dalí). Da Vinci was probably more mentally balanced and classier than Dalí, but their aptitude for science, innovation, and religion connects them in ways not examined before.

 
Comments
It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

BOSTON — David Price heard about the recent reunion of the Rays' 2008 American League championship club that he played a big role on as a small part of, and he had a few questions.What players were there? How did it go? Did second baseman Akino...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
In Spring Hill, 9-month-old baby boy dies after being left in car

In Spring Hill, 9-month-old baby boy dies after being left in car

SPRING HILL — A 9-month-old infant died Friday after the boy was left in a hot car at the family home, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Keyton O’Callaghan was found in a car seat inside the vehicle at about 11:30 a.m. by his father, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas, waits, watches, worries as Red Tide lingers off the bay

Pinellas, waits, watches, worries as Red Tide lingers off the bay

Times Staff Writer ST. PETE BEACH — Despite last week’s prediction that the lingering Red Tide might move north, the toxic algae bloom still hasn’t begun wreaking havoc here the way it has south of Tampa Bay.On Friday afternoon, the beach behind the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE — Ten thousand blue leis were distributed to Titans fans for the NFL draft on the day their team picked Marcus Mariota.The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner wasn't even at Nissan Stadium for the party, which drew a crowd of 20,000. But the w...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Yeah, but …Every Jameis Winston-Marcus Mariota debate is full of them.Winston has completed more passes (939), gained more passing yards (11,636) and thrown more passing touchdowns (69) before his age 24 season than any quarterback in NFL histo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lawyer uses sheriff’s words to seek bail reduction for parking lot shooter

Lawyer uses sheriff’s words to seek bail reduction for parking lot shooter

Lawyers for Michael Drejka, the man who shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in a convenience store parking lot last month, have listed the Pinellas County sheriff’s initial decision not to arrest Drejka as a reason to reduce their client’s $100,000 ba...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Red Sox, in another tough test

For starters: Rays at Red Sox, in another tough test

UPDATE, 6:30: Another round of heavy rain and lightning has come through, though Cash said earlier he was told the storm would clear out and the game would be played. A delay seems likely as the tarp is still on.UPDATE, 5:51: C Jesus Sucre said his s...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Putting a face to the name: Picture of Marine killed in Vietnam one of the missing

Putting a face to the name: Picture of Marine killed in Vietnam one of the missing

Private Ruben Bell Jr. has a name, a rank, a hometown, five service medals and several living family members. For 50 years, though, he has remained a ghost.Bell enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1967, when he was 19, and arrived in Vietnam that De...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies: Clearwater man’s afternoon crime spree included stolen vehicles, burglarized homes

Deputies: Clearwater man’s afternoon crime spree included stolen vehicles, burglarized homes

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man went on crime spree Thursday afternoon, stealing two vehicles, failing to steal two others and burglarizing three homes before being taken into custody, authorities say.Pinellas County deputies on Thursday arrested Shano...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

ST. PETERSBURG — A political newcomer seeking a Pinellas County Commission seat has faced accusations of physical abuse and stalking from her former fiance, who twice sought court-ordered protection from her.Both allegations came after Democrat Amy K...
Updated: 5 hours ago