With this in mind, Blair and I went to the “welcome summer” dinner at the café, 2 Passe, last night. We drank a vodka tonic in the name of playful, and ate a delicious Paella made by Camilla, whose family owns the little place. It doesn’t usually serve food, but tables were set up on the little terrace in front. There were big, old fashioned, clear Christmas lights, and music playing. It was a younger crowd than usual for dinner in Rocca Malatina. Perhaps I had opened my mind and mouth a little too much when I said to the owner, “I am so glad this isn’t ITALIAN food”. Eeek. But in fact, other people at other tables piped in to agree. Yes,” the owner said, “Lasagna, tortellini, crescentini [are all good], but it’s nice to have a change.”
I see a new Italy on the rise. Parts, like the fascist bits, are horrible and I pray they don’t take over. But there is a younger generation that wants a different life from the old corrupt status quo. I believe much of the racist rant comes from people (sadly) my age, who counted on getting their fair share all of their lives, and now see a gutted country. They are seeking someone to blame, and immigrants are a convenient scapegoat. But I see young families, and people under 30 who want their country to be part of the modern world. You can’t have paella without a nod to Spain. I see little black kids on the soccer team.
Blair and I have both been exploring new art venues. I am thinking about digital media, but it isn’t an obvious fit for me. At this moment, instead of painting in our usual voracious way, we are documenting the work we have on hand here in Italy. We hired a consultant to help us figure out how to manage our work as “late stage artists” – I mean, are our sisters going to want to come and sort all this out after our demise? We have sorted a few hundred canvases and discovered over 200 pictures of people. I am compiling them into a catalog, which will be available on ISSUU soon. The point is to find meaningful (or just any-old) homes for these works. If you have any ideas for sales, shows or whatever, please, please let us know. Other collections will include: Paris, French Countryside, Italian countryside, Floral and Still Life – you get it, eh: there are at least 500 paintings here (and another 200 works on paper).
I am cooking steaks on the barbecue tonight and mixing Negronis. Maybe my next painting will stop by.