Mondays are at times, brutal. For those finding winter long and returning to work, drudgery, we invite you to escape into a visually loquacious reflection on Venice.
“In Venice, in the cracks of the walls, in a shimmer or in a bright color, you see the glory of the past burning bright.” Paolo Ferraris, Artist
This week for Artwork Monday, we’re riding back in history from the colorful, plush seat of a gondola. In asking Paolo about his work in Venice, his deep appreciation of history becomes clear.
“Venice was once one of the world’s capital of commerce. She was the end of the silk road. The door in the west to all the luxury products from the East (fabrics, spices, fragrances.)
For centuries goods traveled east to west on land.
With the opening and discovery of oceanic routes (late 1400s on) Venetian traders lost their primacy. Goods started to travel almost exclusively by sea. The gods of commerce favored the Spanish and the Portuguese first. The Dutch and the English later.
Political and economic decadence was inevitable. It was a fruitful and long decline though. Venice kept flourishing in arts and taste. Always an open-minded city. Always hedonistic, refined, bizarre, ironic and life enamored.
When she lost her place among the powerful, Venice didn’t sulk and cry. She stopped taking herself too seriously and started enjoying life. Venice’s palaces, carnival, food, drinks and lingo are an ode to the merry moments of existence.” — Paolo Ferraris, Artist
Venice Inspired Art
The Carnival season has passed in Venice. By now, the streets will have returned to modern-day. Locals purring through canals in small motor boats and amassed on large Vaporetti. Yet, it’s the gondola that remains the most iconic symbol of Venetian life. A reminder of history in a romantic defiance of time.
The peacocks of Venice, gondolas are ornately outfitting, floating in stark contrast to the colors of the lagoon. Lulling tourists with romantic promise.
Mating Gondolas is one of Paolo’s most vivid pieces from “Venice, A Liquid Adventure” series.
“In mating gondolas, we have all that keen eyes feast upon, when in Venice. The bluish-green of the canals’ water, the colorful facades and the exotic vessels named “gondole.”
These boats, almost unique to Venice, epitomize the city on the lagoon. They are oriental, romantic, dashing and artistic. They don’t simply fit a purpose or provide a photo-op for tourists. They are the stylish dream Venice represents in the modern world. They are vessels for daydreamers.
In my piece I imagine the boats actually mating, showing off their design and beauty in a city that is a perennial melancholic carnival.” — Paolo Ferraris, Artist
I asked Paolo, what is it that drew his focus for Mating Gondolas.
“My eye was drawn by the golden plating of the deck. Old Venetian traders dreamt of far away lands in the east and of fortunes of gold.
For the photographer the yellow and deep red spots, enhanced by the black wood of the gondola, were like a wink from a mysterious beautiful woman. Irresistible.
Venice, a sinking city, still has the flares of a fairy tale, the breath of travels and adventures in the far east.” — Paolo Ferraris, Artist
Venice, a liquid adventure indeed. A floating city, that still has the power to seduce, while fighting off rising tides. There is beauty and strength in her defiance. An enchanting muse.
We hope you’ve enjoyed escaping to Venice with us today. Join us next week, at we continue to journey through art inspired by Venice.
Following Artwork Monday
Each Monday ALOR reflects back on travel using Art and Photography created by Paolo Ferraris. We hope you’ll join us for short inspiring stories from around the world each week on ALOR.blog, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.