Saturday, 20 January 2018

Venice in January - Real Life + "Venetian Pop - Luciano Zarotti at Ca' Pesaro"

Rialto Bridge Photo Cat Bauer
Rialto Bridge just before sunset - Photo: Cat Bauer
(Venice, Italy) There is a beautiful pause here in Venice between the New Year and Carnevale. There is real life, provincial and serene, set against a backdrop of ancient architecture and kaleidoscope sunsets. Many people in town know each other, if not by name, at least by face. It is a village without cars that floats along the water, and it is safe.

There is golden sunlight, and there is mysterious fog. It is brisk and cold. There are children chasing balls in the campi, and dogs flying free.

Every morning I personally hand my trash to the street sweepers, hard-working angels who ring my bell, and holler, "Spazzino!" I tried to tip them at Christmas, but they would not accept, so I took the cash out of the envelopes, and just gave them the cards.

At this time of year, residents run into each other nearly every day. Kids travel alone on the vaporetti, which are stuffed full of locals, not tourists; the kids are connected to their parents by cell phones, and protected by the watchful eyes of the community. Venetians walk through the calli and campi; there is time for conversations, and room enough to stroll. In the background, winter tourists provide comic relief, rattling suitcases, clutching maps or trying hopelessly to navigate with their smartphones.

A Foggy Day in Venice - Photo: Cat Bauer
I am getting a refund from ACTV, the agency that runs the vaporetti, because I was charged when the machine over by San Marcuola debited my bank card but did not credit my vaporetto pass. It is a little victory -- in English, no less:

Dear Mrs. Bauer,
with reference to your enquiry of December 21st, 2017 we are sorry for the inconvenience in buying your pass at the automatic ticket dispenser located at San
Marcuola.
We inform you that we checked the machine and stated the bad working of it on
December 1st, 2017.
For this reason your request of refund amounting to €37,00 has been accepted and
we will provide to credit the amount due with a bank transfer to the bank account number you supplied in your enquiry.
We apologize again and take this opportunity to extend our best regards.

That is real life.

Il tuffatore (The Diver) by Luciano Zarotti (1978)
Meanwhile, the inauguration today at Ca' Pesaro of Venetian Pop - Luciano Zarotti & Ca' Pesaro during 70s-80s drew an eclectic crowd.

Felicita Bevilacqua (1822-1899), the widow of General Giuseppe La Masa, left the monumental palace Ca' Pesaro -- now the International Gallery of Modern Art -- to the City of Venice in her will provided that it was used to enhance the education and careers of emerging artists who could not access large, international exhibitions. The Bevilacqua la Masa Foundation is still in existence today, and has the same mission, although its location has ambled around town. Luciano Zarotti, who was born in Venice in 1942, started his activity within the Opera Bevilacqua La Masa of Venice at the age of twenty-five. Now he is the star of the show.

It was interesting to note how the Pop artists of Europe and the US influenced the Venetian artist, and how the 1964 win of La Biennale's top prize, the Golden Lion, by American artist Robert Rauschenber impacted the art world. According to the Observer, a documentary examining the controversy entitled Americans in Venice: Robert Rauschenberg Rewrites the Rules is set for release in March.

The Sonnabend Collection - Photo: Cat Bauer
Ca' Pesaro keeps reinventing itself. Thanks to the Sonnabend collection, you can see works by the vanguard of Pop Art like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, and many, many more.

Food art - Photo: Cat Bauer
The greatest triumph at the inauguration was the food, an assortment of divine nibbles -- there was even hot pasta e fagioli. The staff really outdid themselves, creating works of edible art that were almost -- but not quite -- too beautiful to eat!

Veneziano Pop - Luciano Zarotti e Ca' Pesaro negli anni '70-'80 runs through February 18. Go to Ca' Pesaro for more information.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. There is a beautiful pause here in Venice between the New Year and Carnevale. There is real life, provincial and serene, set against a backdrop of ancient architecture and kaleidoscope sunsets. Many people know each other, if not by name, at least by face. It is a village without cars that moves on the water, and it is safe.

    ReplyDelete

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Ciao from Venice,
Cat