The Subversive Eye Debuts at The Dalí Museum This Fall

June 27, 2024

Special exhibition celebrates Surrealist and experimental photography from around the globe

Inviting visitors to see the world in a new way, The Dalí Museum presents The Subversive Eye: Surrealist and Experimental Photography from the David Raymond Collection, an exhibition featuring 111 photographs created by 52 artists between 1925 and 1948. Opening November 16, 2024, the exhibition highlights Surrealism’s influence on the medium and continues the Museum’s celebration of 100 Years of Surrealism, marked by the “First Surrealist Manifesto,” published in 1924.

The impact of Surrealism on photography is multifaceted and complex. The Subversive Eye highlights the movement’s original aims in the medium and its far-reaching impact, featuring an array of photographic techniques such as multiple exposure, unusual perspectives, cropping and solarization. Showcasing the numerous ties between Surrealist ideas and Eastern European, German and Japanese experimental practices, the exhibition displays works by artists including Eileen Agar, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Dora Maar, Lee Miller, Osamu Shiihara, Man Ray and more.

“Photography had immense importance as a Surrealist medium,” said Dr. William Jeffett, Curator of Special Exhibits at The Dalí and curator of The Subversive Eye. “As we celebrate the centennial of Surrealism by exploring the capacities of the medium of photography, this exhibition highlights how artists have ultimately used photographic techniques to question the nature of seeing itself, delving deeply into the inner realm.”

Works on display are on loan from the collection of internationally recognized collector David Raymond. For more than 25 years, Raymond has pushed the boundary of the definition of “the surreal,” building a remarkable collection of Surrealist photographs. This is the first exhibition in over a decade showcasing a dedicated selection from Raymond’s vast collection, including artists beyond those traditionally associated with the Surrealist movement.

“With Salvador Dalí’s breadth of artistic experimentation, The Dalí is the perfect setting for pushing the limits of Surrealism,” said Raymond. “On the surface, these carefully chosen photographs capture a moment in time, yet with a discerning eye, they can reveal so much more. It’s my hope the exhibit encourages Museum visitors to reimagine the way they view the world and everything around them.”

A catalog including full-color reproductions of the works included in The Subversive Eye will accompany the exhibition, which runs through May 4, 2025. Catalog contributors include both Jeffett and Raymond, as well as Dalí Museum Director Dr. Hank Hine and art historian Dawn Adès. The presenting sponsor of The Subversive Eye is Marion R. Rich, with a deep appreciation for Surrealist photography. Supporting sponsors include Ingrid and Jake Jacobus and Adele Visaggio, airport partner St. Pete Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and hotel partner TradeWinds Island Resorts


Reimagining Nature: Dalí’s Floral Fantasies: On display through October 20, 2024, this breathtaking exhibition showcases the world of flowering plants reimagined by Salvador Dalí. On display together for the first time in two decades, Flora Dalínae (FlorDalí), 1968, FlorDalí (Les Fruits), 1969, and Florals (Surrealist Flowers), 1972, were crafted during the height of the Pop era. The works in this exhibition transform traditional depictions of fruits and flowers by incorporating dreamlike characters and iconic symbols often seen throughout Dalí’s career, such as flies, ants and melting clocks.

Ask Dalí: Only available at The Dalí Museum, Ask Dalí allows visitors to ask any question of a re-created Salvador Dalí using the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Created in partnership with Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), Ask Dalí is powered by several modern machine-learning models, including GPT-4 from OpenAI, which have been trained using a variety of the artist’s writings and archival audio. The result is a voice that sounds remarkably like Dalí and a dialogue that reflects his personality. To start a conversation, visitors simply pick up a telephone inspired by Dalí’s famous Lobster Phone and ask any question they would like.

Dalí Alive 360°:This immersive, multisensory art experience envelops visitors in 360 degrees of light and sound within a new Museum space: The Dalí Dome. Now with seating for a comfortable 35-minute experience, the dynamic animations of Salvador Dalí’s works and life featured in Dalí Alive 360° illuminate the challenges and triumphs of his artistic career and provide visitors with the sensation of stepping into the surreal world of Dalí. “I was mesmerized,” “It helped me better understand and appreciate Dalí’s art” and “One of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen” are just a few of the visitor reviews of this immersive art experience.

Permission to reproduce these images is granted solely for use in conjunction with media reportage and review of The Subversive Eye: Surrealist and Experimental Photography from the David Raymond Collection. All reproductions must be accompanied by the image credit noted. Permission to reproduce these images is contingent upon the press’ acknowledgment and acceptance of these terms. High-resolution images are available here.

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About The Dalí Museum
The Dalí Museum, located in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla., is home to a preeminent collection of the artist’s works, with over 2,400 works representing every period and medium of Salvador Dalí’s creative life. The Dalí is recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with its highest three-star rating; has been named one of seven museums globally that showcase the future by CNN Travel; and was named one of the 10 most interesting museums in the world by Architectural Digest. The Dalí Museum’s acclaimed digital experiences have received numerous national and international awards for creative innovation. The Museum is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to preserve Dalí’s legacy for generations to come and serve as an active resource in the cultural life of the community and the world at large. Open daily at One Dalí Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33701, The Dalí welcomes all as unique individuals and is committed to making its collection, exhibitions, building and programs accessible. For more information, visit or download the Bloomberg Connects app for The Dalí Museum’s free mobile guide.

About David Raymond
David Raymond is a renowned filmmaker, artist and internationally recognized collector of contemporary and vintage photography. Raymond began taking pictures at the age of eight and is one of the top photography collectors in the world, with works featured in prominent exhibitions and publications. Raymond’s artistic works, including photography and video, have been showcased in major cities like New York, Paris, Buenos Aires and Berlin. Raymond has lectured globally on collecting and the art market and has contributed to institutions such as the Getty Museum and The Cleveland Museum of Art, where there is a collection named after him. For more information on Raymond, visit

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