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Salvador Dalí
Via Instagram/@dalimuseum

This Salvador Dalí exhibition shows the surrealist relaxing at home

A Florida show offers a glimpse beyond the artist’s extravagant persona, featuring intimate photos from his life in Spain

You might think that Salvador Dalí’s life was all lobster phones and wild dinner parties (with even wilder food and surrealist wine selections on offer). That wasn’t always the case, however, and a new show captures the artist in a more intimate light, working and relaxing at home in Spain.

Appropriately titled At Home With Dalí, the show at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida includes portraits from a diverse group of friends and photographers that were granted rare access to the surrealist’s life. Contributors include fashion photographer Horst. P. Horst, Ricardo Sans, Melitó Casals, Lies Wiegman, and Dalí’s biographer, Robert Descharnes.

Spanning the 1950s and early 1960s, the images depict him painting in his studio, relaxing at home in Port Lligat — where he lived for more than 50 years — and climbing on the rocks at the nearby coastal region of Costa Brava.

Obviously, the exhibition offers a very different perspective on Dalí than that of the enigmatic, eccentric exhibitionist we’re used to (see: the mystery appearance on a 50s gameshow, or the subversive appearances in Andy Warhol’s screen tests). 

However, he actually had strong ties to his home in Port Lligat. First moving there in 1930, he initially lived in a small fisherman’s hut, and extended it to create a sprawling, labyrinthine house over the next four decades. “Like a real biological structure,” he once said, “each new pulse in our life had its own new cell, its room.”

“Port Lligat is the place of production, the ideal place for my work. Everything fits to make it so: time goes more slowly and each hour has its proper dimension. There is a geological peacefulness: it is a unique planetary case.”

At Home With Dalí opens at St. Petersburg, Florida’s Dalí Museum this month, and will continue to run indefinitely.