City Moment – The Artist Sits Beside His Biography, Venice Ghetto
The memorable instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
He looks like Walt Whitman from one angle and Leo Tolstoy from another. But the man with the white beard is Gilberto Visintin, a self-described vagabond artist. He has two pair of glasses–green rim glasses are hanging down from his neck, and red rim glasses are in his jacket pocket.
The Delhi Walla meets him one cold wet windy evening at a small art gallery in Venice’s ancient Jewish district; the world’s first ghetto is observing its 500th anniversary this year.
Some of Mr Visintin’s paintings are hanging on the gallery’s wall. They all depict Venice and are awaiting buyers.
He shows a book, saying, “I wrote it.” The paperback is on a 15th century Venetian painter. “Giorgione was fascinated by Judaism, though he himself was not a Jew.” Mr Visintin then goes on to talk about his own life, saying that he was a filmmaker, too, and that he had made a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in which he had a Jewish character in love with a Syrian Muslim. But the movie did not get any distributor, Mr Visintin says.
It’s raining outside heavily. There is a lull in conversation.
The man with the white beard then sits down on a chair and reclines beside a poster that details his biography–in brief. It’s a poignant moment.
The life of an artist as an old man