Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Nicolò Paoli - Cows on Gondola

January 19 through February 24, 2008
Tuesday - Friday 3:30 to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 11:30am to 8pm

Art Gallery
Fondamenta S. Biagio 795
Giudecca, Venice
Tel. (39) 340-879-8327
Vaporetto Stop: Palanca
Actv 41, 42, 2

Whimsical. Candid. Pensive. The dashing young artist, Nicolò Paoli, examines the world through the eyes of a fanciful cow, a curious juxtaposition that belies the creator's good looks. The exhibit, "Cows on Gondola," twenty acrylics on canvas, currently adorns the walls at the art gallery, Giudecca795.

When I asked him, "Why a cow?" Paoli grinned. "Why not?" He elaborated, "Cows are not too important or arrogant. They produce milk and fertilizer, things that support life. I've always felt like a cow, thinking and watching the world go by. A cow rumina... I'm sorry, but I don't know this word in English -- ruminare -- in both senses of the word. They chew and contemplate."

"Ruminate," I offer. "It's a similar word in English."

His modesty seems genuine, and made all the more interesting considering his pedigree -- the twenty-seven-year -old artist and photographer is the son of Gino Paoli, the renowned Italian singer. Nicolò Paoli is hesitant when I ask him about his background, unwilling to capitalize on his lineage. "It is difficult because, of course, I want to be known for myself and my work. But, honestly, I am in love with my father! And my mother, even more. I couldn't have asked for better parents."

Paoli's cows ride in gondolas on canals sparkling with color, or graze in kaleidoscope fields of grass, and frequently wear a halo. Cows are often considered sacred, a symbol of abundance, the sanctity of life, the omnipresence of the Almighty. "I'm not at all religious," Paoli said. "In fact, I think organized religion is the cause of a lot problems in the world."

Born in Modena, and raised in Florence, then Genoa, Paoli has succumbed to Venice's charms, and plans to relocate to La Serenissima. "I have a special feeling about Venice," he said. "It's magical. The food is good. The people are friendly. I like the water, the light and that there are no cars." The idea that Venice is attracting young artists of caliber is welcome news, especially one from Genoa, Venice's ancient rival.

Ciao from Venice,

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