Venice Carnival – A day with art

This morning our bags were delivered by Alitalia, and we felt like two kids in a candy store…. Delirious with joy….

We finally had a CHOICE of what to wear, and we layered a lot of warm clothing under our heavy coats.

We decided to take a long stroll, to see the contemporary art collection at the Palazzo Grassi.
Venice is a city filled with art.
Beside the world famous Venice Biennale, in which contemporary artists chosen by each country, come to exhibit their work, this city is filled with art.
You could revel at art from every period and enjoy many art styles.

Along the way to Palazzo Grassi, we admired the many small stores filled with locally made glass, masks, crafts, wood and more.
We could easily tell which stores sold mass produced items (probably made in China) and which were locally made, by the level of creativity, and by the craftsman and artisans sitting at the back of the shop, actually making the craft right there.

Along the way we passed by many small eateries displaying trays of antipasto offerings at their windows.
We entered a small trattoria, and had a delicious lunch.
I love it that you do not have to seek far to find a good meal in Venice.

We noticed that in some quieter neighborhoods, some temporary booths were set up to rent carnival costumes.
The costumes can be as simple as putting on a mask and a long cape, all the way to a full and elaborate outfit with makeup, wigs and beautiful clothing.
People were getting into the spirit of things…. and many were hiring these costumes.

Inside the Palazzo Grassi, the contemporary art collection was truly fantastic.
I was able to identify some artists that I was familiar with their work.

I never forget art that touches or inspires me.
I may not remember all the artist’s names, because I refuse to participate in the culture of believing in fame, value and importance, but the visual work does go into me, and somehow…. It lives inside some memory bank inside my being.

We strolled around the museum, admiring the art collection (all owned by one man).

While I was enjoying the museum, I reflected about how much art enriches our lives….

Art gives us a way to look at ourselves in a more direct and visceral way…
It bridges us as people, across the manmade boundaries of countries, and different languages, races, religions, castes, politics and gender.
Art is truly a universal language…. And it can say so much…..And uplift us at the same time.

I know that in many cultures, not much emphasis is put on art.
In those cultures, people pay more attention to survival issues and artists are seen as those who are too lazy to do ‘real work.’

But the only thing that endured across thousands of years, are the art, the crafts and the philosophy or mythical stories that were left behind…
When I say art, I also refer to the art of architecture, and all sorts of artistic expressions.

The other day I saw a documentary about a cave that was found in France, that holds ancient and very elaborate cave paintings of running horses and detailed wild animals, dating back 32,000 years ago.

I guess what I am trying to say…. Is that strolling through the museum, and seeing all the art around Venice, made me feel good about being an artist…

Art is important…. As important as volunteering to help needy people, building houses or working to grow food….or doing any other good work around the world.

When we left the museum, the sun was already setting down…
We walked over the bridge for a stroll on the island of Dorsoduro, but it was getting late and places were already closing down.

There is so much to see and to enjoy in Venice… Especially if you do it in a slow easy way…. Taking the time to stroll and observe…..Which in MY opinion… Is the ONLY way to see and to experience any place….

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