Back to Top

Finding Our Inner Dalí at the Innovation Labs at The Dalí Museum

BNO Team at the Innovation Labs at The Dalí Museum in St. Pete, FL

What do you get when you combine a team of creative problem solvers, the works of one of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th century, and cutting-edge technology? An experience designed to expand minds and inspire awe.

illustration of Dali paintingAllow us to take you on our journey through the Innovation Labs at The Dalí Museum, not far from our office in St. Petersburg, Florida. (If you’ve never been, you’re missing a creative city full of artists that’s quickly becoming a hub for innovation and technology.)

Our guided museum experience was our latest venture into the land of discovery as it relates to combining technology and creativity to elicit human emotions and strengthen brand connections.

As the day progressed, we learned about the man, his life, and his work—in very interactive and interesting ways. Dalí himself was fascinated with technology and used it eagerly and boldly, so it’s baked into the DNA of the museum and innovation labs.

But beyond the engaging educational application powered by tech, such as artificial intelligence and holograms, what struck us most as our “aha” moment had nothing to do with code and everything to do with core values. You see, as our guide explained how Dalí approached his life and his work, we realized that Salvador Dalí greatly personifies how we run BNO Creative Labs’ innovation engagements. Like Dalí, we always begin with human insights and empathy, we look at everything from different perspectives, and we push far beyond the boundaries of convention to reinvent the expectations that clients have for their brands.

“Dalí always started with human insights, would look at things with fresh eyes, and would go all-in, all the time.”
– Museum guide, Innovation Labs at The Dalí Museum

While most everyone is familiar with Dalí’s surrealistic paintings, his extensive body of innovative work spans many mediums, including animation, sculpture, and fashion. He even used his own body as a canvas to express his unique interpretation of the world. Take one look at him, with his flamboyant mustache and theatrical attire, and it should come as no surprise that he embraced the power of imagination and the subconscious mind to create art that was both groundbreaking and thought-provoking.

We usually choose “business casual” over a cape and a cane, but we completely see eye-to-eye on why the three core values mentioned earlier are so critical for rising above the ordinary and creating the extraordinary.

illustration of a painter's toolsWe thought the most striking example of how Dalí used insights and fresh perspectives and went all-in to create such innovative ideas was his painting descriptively named “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea.” Dalí also titled it “Homage to Rothko,” which wasn’t a compliment but rather a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the famous artist’s paintings of simple, solid-color blocks, which hardly impressed the complex Dalí. In fact, it’s said that Dalí was “one-upping” Rothko by using blocks of color to create not just one painting, but two.

side by side photo of close up and distant perspective of Salvador Dalí painting entitled Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea
From two different perspectives, you see two different paintings.

What do we mean by that? Well, let us explain how Dalí intended the painting to be experienced:

Up close, you’ll see his wife, Gala, looking out her window and gazing at the sea. While standing only a foot away, you appreciate the precision of each stroke and the attention to detail. And you think, “Well, that’s a nice painting.” But then you’re instructed to move back to a distance of 65 feet, and suddenly from this new perspective, you realize those blocks of color framing Gala’s window present a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Wow—mind blown.

As fascinating as the thought-provoking, visual-illusion painting that hangs on the wall are the insights and inspiration of how it came to be. The idea was born from a very early article on facial recognition published in Scientific American in 1973. The author was positing how many pixels someone might need in order to recognize a known face.

What’s important to note here is Dalí’s penchant for venturing outside the world of art in pursuit of the kind of broader knowledge, in this case math and science, that can give you fresh perspectives and inspire extraordinary creativity and innovation.

illustration of Salvador DalíIt’s because this iconic individual held these values until the day he died in January 1989 that we found new inspiration on an ordinary day in February 2023. We encourage you to visit St. Pete’s very impressive, tech-driven museum devoted to creativity and innovation. And while you’re there, join us across town for an innovation workshop and see what extraordinary things we can create together that will blow people’s minds.