TERRY BARRETT made these gorgeous photographs when we were in Italy and part of the University of Georgia, Studies Abroad program. They are realistic, unaltered photographs of surfaces of walls and doors. (Some are available at State of the Arts Gallery in Sarasota, Florida. Or, contact him here.)
As we wandered the streets of Arezzo, Assisi, Cortona, Florence, Lucca, Montepulciano, Orvieto, Perugia, Pisa, Rome, Siena, and Venice, I watched Terry pause and study decay, flaking paint, and crumbling walls. I laughed out loud knowing that Italy is a place traveled for iconic photographs of history and marvel such as Michelangelo’s David, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Florence’s Duomo Santa Maria, and the Colosseum. Though he captured photos of these places, his eye seemed drawn to the walls.
I watched as he owl-turned his head side-to-side taking in his surroundings. As if drawn by a dimension beyond our five senses, he’d bend down, point his iPhone and make a picture.
Later when he showed me the printed photographs, I gasped as if realizing a forgotten memory. The printed photographs look like paintings of saturated and muted colors, cracks peeling up or flaked off, revealingly layers of color applied over hundreds of years. I began to think about the generations of people who passed by these walls and through these doors. This is how art serves. I get to look again from his view and with my perspective.
His pause and notice of those details affected me.
I more carefully observed the people I passed heading to work or market to buy tomatoes and tagliatelle. I delighted while watching children walk to school, lovers hand-in-hand, families nibbling sfofliatelle, and sipping café after church. I saw monastics in the distance sauntering slowly up a hill back to St. Francis’ hermitage.
I chose to use the photos on this website because they visually depict Wonder Anew's message about transformation and becoming. I see in them a witness to living and an exquisite reflection of being cracked open or rawly exposed.
The more I look at these photographs, they become portraits of being. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Terry Barrett at the MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts. Rome, Italy. Image: I took this picture just after Terry closely examined the surface of this painting.