Venice Art Crawl, 2015
Between the dirty cracks of a Venice sidewalk, among the deep, intricate stains, where the piss and shit of 10 thousand dogs mixes with grit, gum and oil to create an exquisite patina of filth, something rots. It’s art, asshole!
Don’t start thinking too deeply about the word “crawl.” It’s a little joke, but to me it’s an accusation. If the flippers fit, wear them. So it was that I came last night as a very last minute volunteer and opportunist to the Venice Art Crawl. Is it me? Or was it little chilly, like painting with mournful strokes in some shop or restaurant, ignored. No one talks to you. At first the night seemed touched with sadness –the sadness of being an artist.
Thankfully my useless legs began to devolve and dissolve, my feelers came out, and as my nose got closer to street level I saw maybe it’s not so bad. There’s La Marche, my favorite side-walk find. Something even in scumbag me felt elevated by him. This guy creates sculptures from pots and pans and melted plastic; he invented unique paint mixtures born on canvas in odd protruding masses. He gender-bent Frida and has similar takes on Pinky and Blue Boy. He put before his face an incredible, vivid sculpture like a mask and I was very grateful for the photo. La Marche has no email address. I wonder, is it just to be cool? He’s a real paint-stained artist, an artist exemplar.
On I went, tunneling though an incongruous mix of Galleries, shops and sidewalks, carrying with me a foolish grin. It was a heaven of speed-interviews. You look into the faces of these people and want to infuse them with magical energy, be a charmed helper for every one of them. I probed both hopes and unknowns. One artist actually gave me a work and later told me to “FUCK OFF!!” with frightening intensity. Apologies… but what do you expect from a night crawler?