Tag Archives: painting

private fish painting in sottoportego

My Own Private Biennale

private fish painting in sottoportegoI’d heard or read somewhere that, perhaps inspired by the arrival of the Biennale, temporary paintings had begun springing up around town, created on paper canvas applied to walls, washing away easily with the rain. I hadn’t run into any though, until one appeared on my doorstep — literally.

Whoever painted this big, red, spotted fish was quite furbo, applying this canvas underneath the sottoportego so that it would remain protected and thus last longer. The paper has shredded and dissolved a bit at the bottom as motor boat waves at high tide slosh the lagoon water over the border, but if you ask me that just contributes to the overall effect that this fish monster is surging right up from the rio. Red spots sling off the fish’s nose onto the canvas above him. I think it’s divine.

I’m greeted by this ichthyic apparition every time I leave the house. È fantastico, and one of those unexpected things, the fact of which makes you become even more attached to this absurd city. And that this clever artist chose my sottoportego? What a coup…


UPDATE: Yvonne from Australia pointed out that this is the work of the same Papiers Peintres that create the papery frames around town (there’s one along the fondamente San Felice and another down from the Madonna dell’Orto). If you stand in the middle, have someone snap your photo, then send it to them — the address is on the frame — they’ll post it on their site. Explore their site, there are images, youtube videos, and more.

Safet Zec: Powerful Painting at the Correr

Doors and drapes, boats and baskets, paints and potatoes, Venetian façades: silent, radiant objects speak volumes to viewers at the Correr until July 18th.

ZEC 038.jpg

Even though he’s acclaimed internationally, has had an atelier in Venice since 1998, and painted for decades in Sarajevo and Pocitelj (near Mostar), you still may not know the engaging, evocative works of Bosnian artist Safet Zec.

ZEC 04.jpgIf you don’t, this adeptly curated exhibition would be the perfect occasion to make his acquaintance. These engrossing pieces vary widely in subject matter, medium, and presentation; some never before on exhibit. Visitors are routed past intimate watercolor studies and reflective pen and pencil sketches that are not only marvelous in their own right, but as precursors offer insight into the series of rich, almost life-sized watercolor, tempura, and oil depictions that follow.

ZEC 012.jpgThe abundance of natural light filtering through the white mesh panels on the upper floor of the Correr is particularly complementary to a radiance that seems to emanate from almost every painting. Adding another dimension is the frequent and unexpected use of carta intelata: newsprint or other common paper stock treated to serve as canvas. It seeps and peers though images and brush strokes, incorporating itself seamlessly to become an integral part of the whole.

“I like that something discarded, dirty, and  of little apparent value serves as the base for a work with grander intent,” says Zec. The result of his unique approach and intuitive, impressionable eye is a powerful, delicate, fascinating collection of paintings that seem to exude the very essence of their subject matter, making them a pleasure to behold.

Safet Zec: The Power of Painting

Through July 18

Museo Correr

10 – 6 p.m. (last entrance at 5 pm)