Terry Barrett made the photographs found on this website when we were in Italy. They are realistic, unaltered photographs of surfaces of walls and doors.
I chose them because they seem to 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.
I began to think about the generations of people who passed by these walls and through these doors. People heading to work or market to buy tomatoes and tagliatelle. I saw children walking to school, lovers hand-in-hand, families nibbling sfofliatelle or sipping café after church, and monastics sauntering back to St. Francis’ hermitage. All of these people, like me, seek happiness and peace and wrestle with discomfort and difficulty.
As we wandered the streets, I watched Terry pause and notice details. I laughed out loud knowing that Italy is a place known for iconic marvels such as Michelangelo’s David, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Florence’s Duomo Santa Maria, and the Colosseum. Terry took a few photos of these, but mostly he was captivated by wall surfaces.
His pausing and noticing of those details affected me.
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 photographs, I gasped as if realizing a forgotten memory.
I saw saturated and muted colors, cracks peeling up or flaked off, and outer paint revealingly rubbed to show layers of color applied over hundreds of years. Sitting next to Terry on the couch in our small apartment, seeing each photograph, I noticed things I missed but he didn’t.
This is how art serves. I get to look again from his view and with my perspective. And these thoughts and feelings arise:
I think about how I walk by others not noticing. I want to notice.
I think about when I do pause and attentively look at or listen to you, that I better understand you.
The more I look, the more these photographs 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. I notice that he looks with the same curiosity as walking the streets of Arezzo, Assisi, Cortona, Florence, Lucca, Montepulciano, Orvieto, Perugia, Pisa, Rome, Siena, and Venice.