NYC The Big Picture

Insomnia in Venice

Venice, La Serenissima, in my insomnia, I hear you call me again. Why don't you let me sleep?


I propose that using Giorgione's invention of easel painting in Renaissance Venice can now also effectively communicate contemporary global issues. The Insomnia in Venice paintings point to climate change and Aqua Alta in damp lamplit calli and canals. Since living in Venice many years ago, I am still haunted by the extraordinary spell of its deep past and its present threatened status as a cautionary tale for coastal cities everywhere.

Selected Images  *click on thumbnails enlarge

The Plague Doctor

The Plague Doctor mask is an appropriate symbol for our contemporary times. Historically, doctors wore the Medico della Peste mask while making their rounds during the Black Plague. Its characteristic long, beak was stuffed with aromatic and medicinal herbs that were thought to be protective.

By employing the iconic mask and the atmospheric effects of curative myrtle smoke, the Plague Doctor paintings refer to the miasma of obfuscation surrounding the Covid 19 virus. 

June Julian