I recently returned from my first trip to Venice. So, there will be plenty of material I’ll be posting here and via my usual outlets (HufPo and so on).
However, I want to pause for a moment, a bit dumbstruck, moved and inspired by some art I stumbled upon while there.
Unfortunately, I was only in the Ancient canal-navigated city for two days (I know realise one needs at least five for a starter journey). But it was still long enough to have a couple of ‘stumble upon’ moments of ‘ah,’ especially in regards to the art.
We were there on the final day of Biennale and wandering through San Marco when I saw a church, peered inside and literally gasped. My friend Paul said he was–at the time–looking at a restaurant and just heard me make the stunned sound, and thought I had fallen or something.
Inside that dark church from who knows what century (maybe 15th) was a contemporary mosaic of Jesus’ face (we’re talking 30 feet tall circa) made of individually painted eggs. That’s the kind of wow factor of Christianity’s glory days. It simply doesn’t exist anymore. If the church would unite with incredible contemporary artists like Oksana Mas, it would have more interested parties!
On another day, Paul and I took a water bus to Salute hoping to be permitted to shoot inside the new-ish repurposed old building that is the Punta de la Dogana Museum. No such luck. They were oddly uptight.
Alas, after wandering through the tiny streets we stumbled upon a little gallery tucked away in the middle of nowhere: Galleria D’Art L’Occhio. She’s got some amazing stuff there, but the most ‘me’ (mixing cultures and spirituality) was the work of a Roman artist named Tobia Rava.
He was also in the Venice Biennale this year, the gallery owner informed us. He creates beautifully, emotionally evocative landscapes of sites in Venice, Rome, the countryside, and the Low Countries out of Kabbalah letters.
Having at one point dabbled with reading the letters of Kabbalah, I can attest to the fact that they are incredibly powerful when you meditate on them–almost frighteningly so (so I gave it a rest). They are in essence stencils of energies–a shorter path to what you desire to manifest.
I have not meditated on Rava’s work deeply but can only imagine that when I do it will produce some interesting results. Landscapes for a travel culturist like myself are hugely important. Imbued with those potent letters, well, the sky is the limit.