Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tooting His Horn

As most of you know, most bears are connoisseurs of fine art and, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I'm no exception. While most bears go in for naturalism, I find myself drawn to surrealism - a taste perhaps developed during my international fashion model days in Paris and Madrid.

So imagine my surprise when my bipedal attendants and I chanced upon a sculpture of Salvador Dalí's smack dab in the middle of a traffic circle not far from where we live.

The town of Puerto Banús doesn't have much to recommend itself unless you're a stinking rich jet setter looking for a place to tie up your yacht - and since I'm now a freelance Goodwill Ambassador, that's no longer an option for me. Besides, I've left those hedonistic days behind me. Puerto Banús was only "built" in 1970 by a close friend of Generalissimo Franco and its grand opening was attended by a Who's Who of celebs: Roman Polanski, the Aga Khan, Hugh Hefner, and Prince Ranier and Princess Grace of Monaco. And of course me. If memory serves, Julio Iglesias sang that night.

Anyway, the rhino. Four years ago, the 3-ton rhinoceros - known officially as Rinoceronte vestido con puntillas (Rhino dressed in lace) - found its way to a traffic circle entering town thanks to the generosity of Lorenzo Sanz, the former president of Real Madrid Football Club. He donated it to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of Dalí's birth. I confess that the rhino's "lace" was a little rough on my back side - which of course was bare. (Bear humour.) In any case, inspired by one of his own surrealist films as well as a painting by Veneer ("The Lace Maker"), Dalí created the sculpture back in 1956 and the one in Puerto Banús is only one of eight in the whole world.

I confess that visiting the rhino up close was a bit of a challenge. The traffic that careens around the circle is heavy and a couple of times I thought that Eternal Hibernation was only a moment away. Then I realized that a lot of people were slowing down because they recognized me. I almost got beaned by a passing car when I went over to say hi to the King of Saudi Arabia! Afterwards, what with the weaving in and out of traffic and near death experience, I had to calm my nerves with a nice little cocktail on the beach. It was a pretty tough day although great art and a fruity cocktail (or two) can really revive a bear's spirits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Gray Bear
I bet a bear sitting on the horn of a rhinoceros looked funny.
You are having a wonderful life with all your travels. I would think the other bears are jealous.