Spain is different. To begin with, in the North, they don't speak Spanish. Instead, it's a kind of glottal coughing, similar to Spanish - the Catalan. If the ferociously revolutionary graffiti are to be believed the Cataluňas would banish the pagan French and their bastard cousins the Spanish to the nether regions of Hell and allow them to conduct their affairs in peace. A gentle meander around the northeastern corner of the Pyrenees found me in Figueras. I had wanted to go to Figueras for some time, since it houses the Dali Museum. Salvador Dali was unquestionably the most hideously precocious and talented painter of his generation - he embraced surrealism as a metaphor for his life and his life drawing rivals Raphael. The jewellery exhibition - so produced because Dali believed that the artistic value of a piece was of greater value than its constituent materials - is reminiscent of the quality of Fabergé eggs. Much has been written about his obsessive/compulsive habits, anguished Catholic guilt, shameless self-aggrandisement and dollar-chasing, his promiscuous Russian-born wife and his therapy sessions with Freud, who saw through the empty clowning and unmasked the painter's pathological, paranoid fear of sex. Up close, the works reveal a master craftsman, tortured, shocking and outrageous. His limp clocks - or is it Soft Watches, are symbolic of an era.
His wife and muse features in almost every piece, one way or another. Sweet.