“The difference between a mad man and me is that I’m not mad,” so states artist Salvador Dali on a sign near the way out of the Dali Gallery/Museum in the Potsdam area of Berlin.
Marilyn and I had a day of art appreciation. We went first to the Guggenheim Museum for the ‘Visions of Modernity’ exhibit that featured the art of masters. My favorite was a Paul Cezanne still life, and one of the earlier works of Vincent Van Gogh.
You never know who you can meet in this world. I recognized a woman using a vehicle to tour the museum as a person I saw yesterday in another museum. When she got closer, I told her I had seen her before. I learned her and her husband had been in most of the Berlin Museums, and they are from Utrecht, Holland. I told her one of my favorite artists is Van Gogh.
“I am the last surviving relative of his. His father’s brother is my great grandfather.”
“What?” I almost shouted.
“Shhh,” she put her finger to her lips, as she didn’t want others to hear.
While it was exciting for me to meet a Van Gogh relative, it didn’t compare with the next large and surrealist painter’s, gallery, for Dali’s works seem to take you inside his brain, and that’s not speaking out of turn. A sign on the top of the gallery states, “Come with me inside my brain”.
When looking at Dali’s sketches, paintings, sculptures and even some films he produced, you feel like you are experiencing his dreams and quite a few nightmares.
There are some patterns in his work. Take for instance the use of butterflies used in bizarre places.
Then there is his own look; startling rolling eyes, long handlebar mustache, black hair and an almost handsome look: if only he’d try.
The walls on two floors were full of his work, and it takes a lot of time to carefully see inside each picture, as there are pictures (obscured sketches) inside many of his main pictures.
It was a great escape into the mind of a man who is mad, but not mad.
Heading to one of the museum’s lead us past the Soviet Embassy in Berlin that stretches nearly a whole block. During a tour, a bus guide joked about that when he said, “here is the Soviet Embassy, here is the Soviet Embassy, here is the Soviet Embassy” and on until the end of the block. Guess the Soviets want a large presence in Berlin.
Not too far away the United States Embassy has an American flag on the side of a modest, clean lined building. That building is fairly new, and the old embassy building, now vacant, sits unused on another block nearby.
Before leaving the Potsdam area, we found an Asian restaurant. We were talking about asking for an English menu, when two lovely Australian women heard us and handed us their menus. We spoke a bit to them and learned that they both are on thresholds of change. One was a journalist and because of the changes she is experiencing with newspaper work, quit and looked for something a bit different. She said reporters were required to write lots of crime stories and gossip. She agreed with me that writing ‘copy’ for the advertising department was not right for a reporter to be asked to do. I added, “Yeah, especially when we do the work and don’t get the commission”.
The other lady was in the field of medicine and also looking for something different and even thinking about going back to school.
It was a nice day with clouds parting to expose lots of blue.