Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ABC Wednesday—R is for "Rainy Rolls Royce"

At the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, 
they've created this homage to Dali's original
"Rainy Taxi," first displayed in 1938 at
the Exposition Internationale de Surrealism. It was 

fitted with pipes to make it "rain" inside the car—
which held two mannequins and 200 live Burgundy snails 
(and, I hope, some of whatever it is snails eat).

[To see more ABC posts, go here.]


  1. That’s a bit more elegant than the 1964 Edward Kienholz Back Seat Dodge ’38. But I wonder if the reaction to Dali’s work was, in its way, equally controversial. The museum patrons of Kienholz’s work here seem quite involved. A 2007 N.Y. Times take. Swap out rain for beer and are the two sculptures all that different? Both cars now have a bit of greenery added as well. The mannequins, sliminess... A difference in time and details but not really a difference in kind.

    I see now what that thing in the windshield of Dali’s taxi is. Too, too clever: it’s a hard-hat diving suit. I am not at all sure that his passenger mannequin is entirely a paragon of innocence herself.

  2. Dali was making a surrealist statement with his Rainy Taxi, but I have mixed feelings about putting water inside an early 1930s Rolls Royce, an art object in its own right. Water destroys cars, and this is one of the few cars that should not be destroyed for the sake of art. Someone once gave abstract sculpture John Chamberlain a perfect 1928 Rolls Royce and he had it crushed and twisted for his sculpture. The next generation will not know of John Chamberlain and his work, but will know of Rolls Royce which will become more rare and valuable with time.

  3. And I thought it was YOUR Rolls!

  4. Well, okay. Fine capture of this art object.


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