Pompidou's Dali exhibition inspires artist's favourite hotel
Just look out for the lobster
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Friday 15 February 2013
The Salvador Dalí retrospective at the Pompidou Centre in Paris has now become the most popular exhibition in the Centre's history, with two-hour queues daily to see the vast and extraordinary retrospective of the Surrealist artist.
Fittingly, the five-star Paris hotel Le Meurice in the Rue de Rivoli is about to arrange art packages that will combine a stay with tickets to the exhibition. Fitting, because for the last 30 years of his life Dalí lived at the hotel for several months each year. And the story of his time there makes today's radical artists look tame.
He would walk the corridors with his two pet ocelots; when he left for lunch at a restaurant he would ask staff to throw coins under the wheels of his car, so that he could drive away on a path of gold. He would summon the lift by pressing the elevator button with the tip of his Academician's sword. And in a gesture that today's YBAs would die for, he lined his suite with paper bags, each containing a pot of paint. Then he would solemnly throw open the windows, step out on to the balcony and pour paint on to the parked cars below. Explosion painting was born.
Of course, his suite was also used, more conventionally, as a studio to paint classic nudes. Well, fairly conventionally... the model had to be happy to have a live lobster placed on her stomach.
Dali, Le Centre Pompidou, Paris (centrepompidou.fr) to 25 March; for art packages, see lemeurice.com
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
These Harry Potter lipsticks are sparking all sorts of controversy with Hogwarts fans
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Hunted: Channel 4 to test 'surveillance Britain' by taking Big Brother to sinister new lengths
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'