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Dali Lives: Museum Brings Artist Back to Life with AI

Dali Lives: Museum Brings Artist Back to Life with AI

January 22, 2019

Avant-garde Experience Announced on the 30th Anniversary of Dali’s Death

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (January 23, 2019) – Imagine legendary surrealist artist Salvador Dali personally welcoming you to the museum, even sharing observations on current events and the motivations behind his masterpieces. The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida announced today, on the 30th anniversary of the artist’s death, that it will celebrate Dali’s art and legacy with “Dali Lives,” a groundbreaking experience to be unveiled exclusively at The Dali on the 115th anniversary of the artist’s birth, May 11, 2019.

Visitors to the Museum will soon have the opportunity to learn more about Dali’s life and work from the person who knew him best: the artist himself. Using an artificial intelligence (AI)-based cutting edge technique, the new “Dali Lives” experience employs machine learning to create a version of Dali’s likeness, resulting in an uncanny resurrection of the mustached master. When the experience opens, visitors will for the first time be able to interact with an engaging lifelike Salvador Dali on a series of screens throughout the Museum.

“Dali was prophetic in many ways and understood his historical importance,” says Dr. Hank Hine, executive director at The Dali. “He wrote, If someday I may die, though it is unlikely, I hope the people in the cafes will say, ‘Dali has died, but not entirely.’ This technology lets visitors experience his bigger-than-life personality in addition to our unparalleled collection of his works.”

The Dali partnered with Goodby Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco (GS&P) to bring the master of Surrealism to life. The Museum began this immersive project by collecting and sharing hundreds of interviews, quotes, and existing archival footage from the prolific artist. GS&P used these extensive materials to train an AI algorithm to “learn” aspects of Dali’s face, then looked for an actor with the same general physical characteristics of Dali’s body. The AI then generates a version of Dali’s likeness to match the actor’s face and expressions. To educate visitors while engaging with “Dali Lives,” the Museum used authentic writings from Dali himself – coupled with dynamic present-day messages – reenacted by the actor.

The “Dali Lives” project further demonstrates the Museum’s commitment to staying on the forefront of technology, embracing new methods to engage guests in unconventional ways to delight and educate them about Salvador Dali and his works. Sometimes controversial like Dali himself, this emerging technology is being used for the first time in inspiring service to art.

The revolutionary experience has been announced alongside introductory teaser videos. While gazing directly into the camera, Dali appears to challenge the idea of his own death, providing an impressive preview of what the experience will look like when it premieres at The Dali Museum in on May 11, 2019.

This is the third collaboration between The Dali and GS&P. The duo first introduced “Gala Contemplating You” as part of a 2014 exhibition which turned a visitor’s selfie into a projected, full-scale replica of the 1976 monumental painting Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko). Then in 2016, they partnered together for the “Dreams of Dali” virtual reality experience, which transports viewers into Dali’s painting, Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s “Angelus.” “Dreams of Dali” has been recognized by the Cannes Lions and Webby Awards, among others, and guests can enjoy the experience as part of the permanent collection at The Dali or on their own VR devices.

To view the teaser videos and for additional information on “Dali Lives” and The Dali Museum, visit TheDali.org/DaliLives.


The Dali Museum, located in the heart of beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, is home to an unparalleled collection of Salvador Dali art, featuring more than 2,000 works comprising nearly 100 oil paintings; over 100 watercolors and drawings; and 1,300 prints, photographs, sculptures and objets d’art.

The building is itself a work of art, featuring 1,062 triangular-shaped glass panels – the only structure of its kind in North America. Nicknamed The Enigma, it provides an unprecedented view of St. Petersburg’s picturesque waterfront. The Museum has attracted the world’s attention, and among the other distinguished awards it has received, it is the first and only museum in the Southeastern United States to be recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with a three-star rating.

The Dali Museum’s current special exhibition, “Magritte & Dali” is open through May 19, 2019. This exhibit is the first to explore the works of renowned Surrealists René Magritte and Salvador Dali as a sole pairing, and features unique interactive elements designed to transport visitors into the artists’ imaginations.

The Dali Museum is located at One Dali Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. For additional information contact 727.823.3767 or visit TheDali.org.


Goodby Silverstein & Partners is an internationally-awarded creative company whose mission is to create experiences that reach millions and even billions, but seem to speak to one of us alone. They call this effect “mass intimacy.” GS&P has created commercials and digital experiences for BMW, Pepsi, Budweiser, Frito-Lay, Comcast, E*TRADE, The New Yorker Magazine, Adobe, and got milk? They are also well-known for artistic installations ranging from OKGO videos to the CheetosVision app to the #IAmAWitness anti-bullying emoji (the first emoji for a social cause).

Media Contact: Tara Tufo |ttufo@paradiseadv.com | 727.821.5155 x 126

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