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Dali Miami Was a Taste of the Master's Work

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When we saw the crowd outside the Moore Building stretching down the street, we knew the Dali Miami exhibit was going to be exciting.

The hyper-sexual drawings, lithographs, paintings and sculptures -- which show through Sunday were enticing - much like Miami. Also like the Magic City, the prices were a bit steep and the music was blah. But there were more than 200 pieces of the Spanish master's work on display. We wanted to bask in the Dali glow.

One of our favorites was In Voluptas Mors; an erotically dark quasi-self portrait photograph that showed a large skull with Dali looking away from it. At first glance, it did not seem particularly provocative. But then you looked a little harder and realized that it was no ordinary skull - it was seven voluptuous, naked women contorting their bodies to look like a skull.

In a lithograph titled Don Quichotte, Dali drew a character reminiscent of both the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz and the Michelin Man. In a way, it almost looked like it was preparing for war; with a spear in one hand and a shield in the other. Preparing for what? We can only imagine what was going through Dali's mind when sketching him.World domination?

One of the most talked about sculptures on display, Venus de Milo With Drawers, was not only breathtaking, but incredibly detailed. From the drawer handles protruding like nipples to the drawers representing her ribs, it was as if Dali himself had just unveiled it to the world.

The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg has a much different collection - with only 96 pieces that are skewed more heavily toward religious works and his more popular oil paintings. There's the Hallucinogenic Toreador, which is over 13' tall and expresses his interpretation of a bullfight. You can stand in front of that painting for hours.

There's nothing in the Miami exhibit of that value, but it's nevertheless a fine taste of the master's work. All in all, the Dali Miami exhibit was exactly what we expected: expressive, intriguing and sexual. We would go again tonight. Oh wait! We can go again tonight because the $80 VIP ticket allows multiple nights of entry.

Our writer, J.J. Colagrande yesterday called the exhibit underwhelming. While we understand his disappointment.-- Dali's work is far more more expansive and impressive than what's on display here, we think this is well worth the entry fee.

The exhibit runs through Sunday at the Moore building, 4040 NE Second Ave., Miami. Tuesday, March 7 through Sunday, March 11. General Admission is $20 pre-sale, $25 at the door. For more information, visit dalimiami.com

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