Who fancies a chat with Leonardo da Vinci, Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, Marcel Duchamp, and Vincent van Gogh? London’s Frieze Art Fair is playing host to an intimate panel discussion between the five deceased legends and allowing mere mortals to ask them questions. The improbable scenario was conceived by Los Angeles–based artist Jeffrey Vallance, who uses mediums to channel the spirits of said artists. Vallance, whose work encompasses installation, collecting, and performance, has already channeled Richard Nixon and undertaken lengthy research into the Shroud of Turin, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster. As a pre-Frieze taster for W readers, he tapped self-proclaimed “psychic astrologer to the stars” Joseph Ross to channel Salvador Dalí for a discussion from beyond the grave.
Ross: Is it possible I might contact you and share some insights with those on earth?
Dali: Why should I bother? They were hardly capable of understanding my genius while I walked among them. You are irritating; go away.
Ross: But I am a psychic reader revealing the power and beauty of humanity.
Dali: A world-famous one?
Ross: Not yet.
Dali: Contact me when you are famous!
Ross: But you shared your art while you were alive even when you weren’t famous.
Dali: I was always famous. I’m busy. Bye.
Ross: Wait…wait…are you in heaven?
Dali: Heaven. Hell. What’s the difference? I created heaven and hell in my work and life.
Ross: Which is better fun?
Dali: Heaven would be very boring without hell, and hell would be very painful without heaven. Hell is heaven if you have the eyes to see.
Ross: Are you still painting?
Dali: It is not painting here. The spirit manifests into form without a brushstroke. The angels joke that I have designed much of the universe for them already, that I took over where Raphael and Botticelli and Bosch left off.
Ross: Do you hang out with any other artists?
Dali: I have grown quite fond of Bosch. We party all the time, cavorting in bordellos. Drinking is allowed here…and you don’t get hangovers! All of these artists are wild except Picasso, who is boring and serious. He’s only interested in getting back to earth and making more money. I just want to have fun. Look at this:
Ross suddenly visualizes a series of images, describing them as “the most incredibly beautiful universes, angels, and hideous but lovable monsters.”
Dali: Bosch and I did that together one drunken evening.
Ross: Wow. And you mentioned bordellos—are you having much sex there?
Dali: This may be hard to believe, but Dalí was once a prude. After you have all the sex you want in all the ways you want, you can come here and realize, Wait a second, where did that take me? But a little bit now and then is fine.
Ross: Do you keep a close eye on the contemporary art scene?