Thursday, May 6, 2010

Venice

Our two and a half days in Venice just weren't enough!  My first day there (JK arrived there a day ahead of me due to volcano-fu) was spent walking around Campo Santo Stefano, in the San Marco district of the city, where our hotel was located.  Mimmo, the foreign exchange student who lived with JK's family in 69-70, was helping a friend that day, but we made plans to meet him along with two of his friends in Campo Santa Margherita in the San Croce district.  We waited for them in a small outdoor cafe since it was a beautiful day and in the 60s still.  I'm not sure where we walked to get to the Slow Food restaurant that we had a marvelous dinner at that night.

The next day we made plans to meet Mimmo at noon at the Plazzo Grassi, where there is a huge modern art museum owned by a very rich Frenchman - Francois Pinault.  His foundation organizes shows of his collection of modern art - Big names like Paul McCarney (not the former Beatle) and Marlene Dumas.  We got there a bit late and Mimmo was already touring the exhibit.  They wouldn't let me shoot there, even without a flash!  So I was forced to buy the catalog for the show - which must weigh a good 10 lbs.  Some of the work that I really enjoyed was Mike Kelley's "Kandors Full Set" (05-09) which you can see part of here.  And then almost from the opposite side of the spectrum the work of Maurizio Cattelan's "All" (08) - link here.

After a lovely al fresco lunch of the best pizza I think I've ever had, we went to the Gallery of the Academy of Art in Venice, which was near our hotel.  Italian masterpieces from the earliest Venetian painters to those of the 18th century.  The one painting that struck me the most was Bellini's Madonna of the Red AngelsThis painting is dated  1480-90, which was a pretty conservative time in the art world.  Those red angels just freak me out!  If you'd like a small art history lesson on him, click here.  Since he did use the kind of symbolism common to the more Northern European painters, I know they must mean something,  And this just might be the springboard I need to launch my ideas about an angel-devil identity installation for Nada Dada this year in Reno (3rd weekend of June).

A short rest and then onto dinner about 8:30 to meet more of Mimmo's friends in Venice at a little restaurant that I will probably never again find.  We took the water bus to the train station stop and then met Mimmo there and walked over to his friends' apartment and then onto dinner.  After dinner we went back there for drinks.  It was a lovely place, but again up stairs (damn my knees).

The photo was taken on the water bus that cruises the Grand Canal on the way to meet Mimmo for that dinner.

The next day, we walked over to St Mark's Plaza, had a bit of lunch and then it was time to get aboard the water bus to get to the airport to fly to Sicily.  O Venice, we must meet again, when I'm not gimping around!




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