The decaying Serenissma has always been an inspiration for artists and writers, but for me something, has never rung true. I've visited the city countless times in the last twenty years and although I always appreciate its unique beauty, I am fortunate that I no longer have the obligation to do the usual tourist things. It gives me the freedom of being in a hometown. That ability to take short cuts and go to local shops, cafes and bars, avoiding those streets of carnival masks, Murano glass and pizza slices. The only thing, which always bothered me from an artistic point of view, was why the most beautiful city in the world didn't inspire me.
Then one day whilst in Piazza San Marco the inspiration came from an unexpected source. A chance view of a tourist having her picture taken whilst a seagull ripped the innards out of a dead pigeon at her feet was the key. Beneath the tourist facade, that fake grinning carnival mask, still lays the real city. A living city with its dirt, rubbish, smells and excrement but which is unpalatable for tourist consumption. My answer was to produce my own postcards showing the shit of real life, giving a different perspective on the city. Once the postcards were completed I put them on a vendors kiosk without his knowledge, an instant exhibition in Venice. Another group were sent to friends as a limited edition kindly stamped and dated by the postal service. Who needs a gallery when you have the most beautiful city in the world as a backdrop?
© 2007 Gram Hilleard. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or
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