ends -- probably wouldn't want it any other way.
Tonight in Costa Mesa, in the aforementioned strip mall at 7 p.m.,
Dante's Inferno Salvador Dali Gallery will debut its new Dali
collection to commemorate what would have been the Spanish artist's
"The thing that has always attracted me to Dali is that no one
else is like him," gallery co-owner and art collector Eric Emken
said. "His techniques and his images are so often copied ... but he
originated so much. People don't realize that he was also a master
draftsman and designed a lot of buildings."
Emken, who co-owns the gallery with Trace Kirkpatrick and Brandon
Power, first became infatuated with Dali as a teenager collecting
posters of his work. He has since dedicated his career to amassing
Dali's works and travels twice a year to Europe to attend auctions
solely focused on the Spaniards' paintings and drawings.
He deals with art dealers from around the globe and has sold
several works from his personal collection to doctors, professors and
other Dali fanatics.
"There are works that I buy, complete sets, that I'll break and
sell if someone offers the right price," he said. "But there are
certain things that mean too much to me that I will never part with."
The gallery is focused on a sect of Dali's illustration work that
was published in what is known as "Dali's Catalogue Raisonne." The
suites on display from that collection are "Alice in Wonderland,"
"The Divine Comedy," "Les Chants De Maldoror" and "Le Tricorne."
The works are all limited-edition prints, and most were reproduced
using a Japanese woodblock technique that Dali supervised.
The most ambitious group in the Costa Mesa collection is "The
Divine Comedy," which features 100 images presented in three chapters
-- Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The collection took more than 14 years
to complete and was supervised by Dali himself.
"These works have special watermarks in them to display their
authenticity, and they really are striking," Emken said.
The only group displayed that are lithographs is "Les Chants de
The suite consists of 42 images from one of Dali's first major
publications of engravings in 1934. The lithographs on display were
remade from the original plates for the Prague Museum Gallery D
exhibition the artists had in 1966. Less than 600 sets were made.
"We have a great range of his work here, and the best part is that
a lot of it is affordable, which gives people the opportunity to hang
an original Dali print in their homes," Emken said.