A journey into the minds of two mad men

I walked through the mind-scape of two legendary artists, getting a chance to see their processes at two exhibitions currently at the new Art & Science Museum.

Dali: The Mind of a Genius
Dali’s showcase was a little “spacious”, with exhibits seemingly employed desperately to fill the arena. But I enjoyed getting to know more about his life story and his artistic developments. The sculptures were awesome. The watercolour and ink drawings – very inspiring. They make me want to express myself through those mediums as well even though I’ve only had limited play with them when I was young.

I liked the fact that he expanded himself through several fields – exploring from paint to film, sculpture to furniture design. And for all the madness in his world, his pieces when collated, clearly shows that he did have a point when he said that there’s a method to his madness.

Van Gogh Alive
Truth be told, the written premise seemed a little underwhelming – selected pieces of Vincent’s works are enlarged and projected on giant canvases, accompanied by familiar orchestral pieces. It felt, lazy.

But a minute in, I was smiling like a fool. The placement of the structure panels gave the illusion that you were in a floating psychedelic cavern, and as the panels came alive, blinking and fading into one another, the space made for a dizzying and engaging journey. At certain places, the rich colours and brushstrokes would dapple over you, passing like the ghost of Vincent. And I would feel a chill.

The entire presentation, made up of several segments of themes and stories, led you through the dance of texture and hues with a musical partner. I have never fully appreciated the power of classical pieces, but this time I was moved close to tears, as soaring crescendos and haunting diminuendos swaddled me. I was in the embrace of greatness and it was hard not to raise my head, eyes closed, and agree that this world can be a most beautiful place to be in.

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