There are many memories from my childhood I have forgotten but for some strange reason I remember when I became aware of art. Back in the days when TV sets where still a novelty, my parents and I would go to a bar near the train station in our town, Viareggio. It was while watching one of these programs that I saw a painting by Modigliani. I don’t remember exactly which painting I saw but I do know the impact it made on that little girl. So I went on with my business of growing up and settling in a new country. I was twelve and all my time was taken up in adjusting to my new environment, New York. A few years later, I went back to visit Italy. I was sitting in a train looking out at the moving landscape when I said to myself: I want to be an artist. And sure enough, I became one. And through all this, Modigliani was tucked away in my heart.
Anybody that knows anything about me is aware that Venice will sooner or later pop up and sure enough, it does in this story too. On my most recent visit to Venice, I went to see the exhibit on sculptor Marino Marini at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. I enjoyed his work very much and had no intention of seeing the rest of the collection. A guard came over to me and said : ”You should go see the rest of the collection. They have recently acquired a new Modigliani.” Sherry was there with me and she can tell you how strange that moment was. The guard was not telling this to any one else and there were plenty of visitors around and she didn’t say go see the collection and their new acquisitions but go see the Modigliani. We found it and it became my favorite Modigliani overnight.
When I posted the image of me standing by this Modigliani on Instagram, someone commented that both me and the figure in the painting have the same sadness in our eyes. And there is some truth to that. I had never felt so close to Modigliani as in that moment. I felt as if I could see the artist himself and through those soulful eyes, he was reaching out to me.