I just finished watching the critically acclaimed not to mention intensely creepy, True Detective. The pagan symbolism in it was difficult to ignore. Or should I say the stereotypical pagan symbolism. Having said that, I’m under the impression the True Detective art directors were pretty meticulous about what they delivered to the small screen. At any rate, it boiled down to lots of twigs fashioned into little sinister pyramids and of course as with all occult symbolism, antlers - lots of antlers. Much like a hipster coffee shop in Gastown the show was filthy with them.
Anyway this show, besides giving me nightmares (despite me only watching it in daylight hours) got me thinking about the de Rothschild Illuminati soire (or Surrealist Ball) in the early 70’s. The photographs are extraordinarily off putting, if not enthralling. Just looking at the images at a safe distance (on the internets) I felt like Rosemary stumbling into Minnie and Roman’s velvet soaked lair. Ick.
The usual suspects appear in both the Surrealist Ball and True Detective. – the aforementioned antlers, doll parts and flower wreaths. Having said that there was a certain amount of sophistication in the dismembered dolls used as centrepieces at the de Rothschild shin-dig. True Detective was decidedly more gritty – and in the end, revolting.
The Ball photos are actually fascinating, especially since art and artists take center stage, with Salvador Dali not only in attendance, but also designing surreal head dresses for several guests. Magritte played a supporting role and guests included the likes of Audrey Hepburn as well as the European upper crust.
Dali was likely consulted every step of the way by de Rothschild. He most certainly has a trademark “style”. That style can be seen just down the road at Chali Rosso Gallery – where several Dali sculptures and a few prints are being exhibited. Really quite breathtaking, they include the familiar melting clock (Profile of Time), the precarious looking Space Elephant, as well as the True Detective - worthy , Vision of The Angel. This glimpse into the surreal world of Salvador Dali can be viewed until the 12th of May and is well worth a visit. At the very least it's much less sinister but just as entertaining as an Illuminati gathering or a blood curdling HBO series.
Chali Rosso Gallery
Telephone: 1 604 733-3594
2250 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 4H7