No offense to the talking portraits adorning the halls of Hogwarts, but one doesn’t need magic to bring the paintings of one of history’s most renowned artists to life. That’s why there’s virtual reality. Visitors of The Dalí Museum located in St. Petersburg, Florida will have the mind-bending opportunity to transport and immerse themselves into a three-dimensional wonderland of art thanks to their newest exhibit, “Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination.”
The exhibition hones in on the relationship between Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney, showcasing art, photos, sketches, artifacts and actual correspondences between the two ubiquitous icons. Located at the tail end of the exhibit is “Dreams of Dalí,” a VR experience utilizing the Oculus Rift headset that takes viewers on a journey inside Dalí’s “Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus’” painting, which depicts two monolithic stone figures towering over tiny humanoid figures in a barren, desert environment under a storm ravaged sky.
To heighten the VR experience, visuals and motifs from Dalí’s other works, such as the “Lobster Telephone” sculpture and rocker Alice Cooper, who was featured in a 1973 hologram the artist created, are present, all of which is accompanied by a moody and eerie piano soundtrack that’s interrupted with the screeching cries of a bird. The goal of “Dreams of Dalí” is to make viewers feel like they are actually inside one of Dalí’s paintings, and have the ability to explore and experience his creations first-hand.
Dalí is famous for his surrealist style, one that suits a virtual reality experience quite nicely. The shared sensibilities and ideas about art between Dalí and Disney were the inspiration for this joint exhibit noted Hank Hine, the museum’s director. “They wanted to take art off the palette, out of the canvas and into the world.” For dreamers and thinkers and creators like Disney and Dalí, the combination of virtual reality technology and their work is the perfect bridge to truly bring art to life.