A terracotta forest of distorted towers: medieval Manhattan where Dante wandered. Madonnas nestled at the corner of each via: mounds of sacred hearts, altars of salted tears. The manganese facades of palaces and porticoes with faded frescoes. The embalming smell of a leather-bound book and the one diffused via a perfumed oil lamp. The anarchists Copernicus and Vesalius stepping out in the university quarter. I chose to retreat within these open walls to live for my art.
Tiresias and Moses
Believers go to the church of San Pietro in Vincoli to worship the manacles and chains of Saint Peter, the secular to admire Michelangelo’s Moses. When we visited it, the alarm was a strident swift’s cry. Beyond the barrier protecting the statue, a man with sunglasses was touching Moses’ knee under the guard’s guidance. She was suspicious of the intrigued visitors staring at them. But the blind man’s smile was worth it. Of course he couldn’t notice the controversial horns on Moses’ head, nor that the statue was sweating light despite having the complexion of a smoker’s lungs – yet he could feel the genius in the prominent veins, the details of the fold, the smoothness of polished marble. So the man was radiant because he had the privilege to caress a masterpiece and to come back home with a perception of Moses no other tourist had.