After an exceptionally good lay in, it was off to the Georgia Aquarium, the world's largest aquarium with more than 8.5 million US gallons (31,000 m³) of marine and fresh water housing more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species. The aquarium's notable specimens include four young whale sharks, including Alice and Trixie, two beluga whales named Beethoven and Maris and four manta rays Nandi, Tallulah, Billi and the fourth was recently added.
Funded mostly by a $250 million donation from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, the aquarium was built on a 20 acre (81,000 m²) site north of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. Marcus credited his 60th birthday dinner at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 1990 as among the inspirations behind his desire to build an aquarium in Atlanta. Who knew all those Home Depot sales would benefit tourists like me!
Being Black Friday, and like an idiot forgetting what it was like last year in New York, I had to line up for everything. Just when I was about to hurl a mother, kid and stroller into the nearest shark tank I took my bruised shins over to The High Museum of Art and it's Dali exhibition. The High holds more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection. Included in this collection are 19th and 20th century American art; European art; decorative arts; African American art; modern and contemporary art; photography and African art. Highlights of the permanent collection include works by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Claude Monet, Martin Johnson Heade, Dorothea Lange, Clarence John Laughlin, and Chuck Close.
The High places special emphasis on supporting and collecting works by Southern self-taught artists, such as Howard Finster, and includes a contextual installation of sculpture and paintings from his Paradise Gardens. The museum includes a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of self-taught art, a distinction unique among North American museums. The High’s Media Arts department produces an annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic film. Special exhibitions at the High feature strong global partnerships with other museums such as the Louvre and with the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Opificio delle pietre dure in Florence.
My focus though were on the Dali: The Late Work exhibition. Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), commonly known as Salvador Dalí was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres. Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire includes film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media. Dalí attributed his "love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes" to a self-styled "Arab lineage," claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
Dalí was highly imaginative, and also had an affinity for partaking in unusual and grandiose behavior, in order to draw attention to himself. This sometimes irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed his critics, since his eccentric manner sometimes drew more public attention than his artwork. My new favourite work is definatedly Dali Atomicus.
In 1941 Philippe Halsman met Dalí and they began to collaborate in the late 1940s. The 1948 work Dali Atomicus explores the idea of suspension, depicting three cats flying, a bucket of thrown water, and Salvador Dalí in mid air. The title of the photograph is a reference to Dalí's work Leda Atomica which can be seen in the right of the photograph behind the two cats. Halsman reported that it took 28 attempts to be satisfied with the result. Oh Shannon, I would love to do this with your three cats! All in all, a very good day exploring!