Q: What work of art has been the most inspiring?
A: It’s tempting to go full pseud on this one, but just the other day I was reading the second volume of art critic Brian Sewell’s autobiography, ‘Outsider’, and he reminded me about the genius of Salvador Dali. I was fascinated by his creations as a younger man, and gazed at glossy copies of ‘Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus)’ for hours. It combines religious ecstasy with the mysteries of nuclear science and higher dimensions. Christ is fixed, by nothing but ‘fields’, to the cruciform shape of an unfolded tesseract, or hypercube. Apparently, though I didn’t know it at the time, there are multiple representations of the painter and Gala, his wife, in the skin folds and shadows of each knee. You have to see it in the flesh to spot them. This painting appealed to my developing (Godless) mind in the same way as John Fowles’ The Magus and numerous concept albums. Although Dali is sometimes looked down upon as a painter for adolescents, perhaps he was, as Sewell says, ‘…the last of the great old masters.’
Phil Berry’s story “Sheer” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 June 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.