This started off in my head as ‘The nearness of you’ (A famous jazz tune from the forties made famous by The Glenn miller band, and more recently vandalized by the likes of Norah Jones). I heard faint traces of this tune in the background score of a documentary made on Salvador Dali. By the time the documentary ended, the phrase “the nearness of you” had morphed into “the weirdness of you“. So fittingly Dali, i thought, and could not resist the thought of penning it down (or as in today’s world – keying) it down.
If you have seen Dali’s paintings (see them in real life, photos do not do justice to the life they contain), one cannot help but wonder what was the source idea that he started with it and what did it morph into by the time he had finished with it a few days, or in some case a few months later. My favorite one being his ‘Soft self portrait with grilled bacon’. My (non professional) take on that painting is as follows –
The idea probably took root in head as he was waiting for a fried egg with grilled bacon at his breakfast table. Instead he received an indescribably mutilated and disfigured piece of coagulated albumin with rashers of grilled bacon adorning it. His life flashed by in front of his eyes and he saw a melting distorted image of himself. He flung aside the plate, grabbed his bread roll (of which he famously said – “Bread has been one of the oldest objects of fetishism and obsession in my work, the one to which i have been most faithful”) and dashed off to his room to frantically start painting his self-portrait.
But to call his art weird is an insult, he is usually referred to as a ‘surrealist’, which some people think of as a polite name for weirdness (there … we coming back to this word again and again). But why should you take my word for it? Shun all your other holiday plans, buy a ticket to Spain, take a bus to his hometown Figueres, grab a breadroll from a local bakery and while munching upon it, feast your senses in the museum. Did i call it a museum? In Dali’s words – “The museum should not be considered a museum. It is a giant surrealist object, everything inside it is coherent, there is nothing that escapes the webs of my understanding”. Heck … you don’t even need to enter, the outer walls adorned with giant eggs and bread-rolls will convince you of his vision
… breads off to you, O’ great weird one.