On returning home from my work in Venice, I overheard a fellow passenger behind me on the plane remark, “It is impossible to take a bad picture of Venice” I was tempted to respond, “Sir, I have just proven you wrong – ten times over!”. My old fashioned sense of decorum obliged me to hold my tongue, but my recent experience had just taught me the complete opposite. How to make an interesting photograph that didn’t mimic the countless millions/billions of pictures taken over the last century was a daunting challenge.
Early on in this project I decided that I couldn’t contribute anything new to the traditional subjects of gondoliers and old ladies feeding pigeons in the Piazza San Marco. My solution to the dilemma was to return to the subject matter I was most familiar with, whether in New York or Warsaw – the odd juxtapositions usually located in the crassest commercial areas of a city. I immersed myself amongst the vendors of T-shirts and hawkers of mass produced (most likely in China!) Venetian masks alongside the Doge’s Palace. I photographed a superficial, glossy Venice, one of artifice and façade – making, I hope, for a more accurate reflection of today’s Venice than those generic pictures of reflections of crumbling palazzos in canal waters.
To view the works of Robert Walker please click here