Journey through Dali’s Spain with Clyde Butcher

A photo of Clyde Butcher’s daughter Jackie emerging from an egg sculpture “Daliesque” style while visiting the Dali Museum in the 1980’s.

On March 15 the general public is invited to enjoy detailed commentary and view grand scale photographs of Salvatore Dali’s homeland taken by renowned Florida nature photographer, Clyde Butcher. Butcher visited the Catalonia region two years ago in February, a time when few tourists were around, and the weather was dark and stormy. For Butcher, who photographs dramatic vistas in black and white, the time of year was ideal.

“It’s more difficult to photograph rugged landscapes in black and white, but carrying a digital camera and only two lenses enabled me to travel easily on foot and take exciting, interesting photos, especially of the sea. Black and white photographs taken on a clear sunny day are often boring,” explained Butcher who photographed sites randomly throughout his visit.

“When I moved to Florida from California in the 1980’s I was growing tired of photographing landscapes in color. One of my first stops was to the Dali Museum in St. Pete, and that’s when Dali became my permanent inspiration,” added Butcher who now specializes in only black and white photography.

Interestingly enough, curators of the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg were unaware of Butcher’s fascination with Dali when they commissioned him to photograph the area in Spain that greatly influenced the artist. Butcher, his wife Nikki, and daughter, Jackie, who accompanied Butcher on his trip to Spain, will provide the keynote presentation at the March 15 event.

“Although most of the photos are of landscapes, there are some of houses in the background, or boats along the coastline. In one photo a person was leaning against a door-jam of his home, but Clyde didn’t see the guy until the photograph was enlarged. Although he was not interested in taking photos of people for the exhibit, Clyde took some color photos of exciting events, including a huge demonstration taking place in Barcelona during our visit. In our keynote address we’ll be providing a few images and movies of Carnival in Cadaques where entire families dressed up in costumes, and we’ll show examples of the work of Guardi, a famous architect,” said Nikki.

Visions of Dali’s Spain, taking place at 7 p.m. on March 15 at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice, will feature Butcher’s trip to Barcelona, the Dali Museum in Figures, Cadaques, where Dali spent his summers as a young man, and move on to Cap de Crues and Port Lligat, Dali’s home. The program will end with views of Butcher’s photographs at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg followed by questions from the audience. Tickets start at $20 each and may be purchased via phone, online or in person. Purchase 10 or more tickets and receive a special group rate. Call the Venice Institute of Performing Arts box office at 941-218-3779 Monday-Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or online at VenicePerforming ArtsCenter.com. The Visions of Dali’s Spain collection may be viewed at the Clyde Butcher Gallery in Venice during the month of March.

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