30 May 2008

Mercatino San Maurizio

Tomorrow morning there will be a big flea market, a mercatino, here in Campo San Maurizio. Very special. It only comes four times a year. I stumbled upon it by accident in September 2003, just minutes after my arrival, when I brought myself to Venice to celebrate my birthday. I had heard and read about it, but I didn’t know exactly where to find it, nor even when it might be held. I guess Fate was on my side. More likely, La Serenissima had already begun her seduction of me. Che buona fortuna!

It turned out to be my first discovery in Venice, and an important one at that because here I first began buying some of the most important things I have used in my studio work, starting with a set of ten vintage Venetian perfume bottles. It’s a very fond memory, that first burst of inspiration in my overwhelmed but delighted mind. Since then I have done my best to schedule my visits to coincide with the mercatino schedule.

I like to come here the night before it opens and see it like this, all the stands waiting for the vendors and their merchandise. I never know what I’m going to find here – sometimes there’s nothing at all for me. But the empty mercatino in the late night gloom always seems so full of mystery and promise and excitement. I think about what might be waiting for me here in the morning, and what new ideas might occur to me when I find it. It’s exactly like being a kid on Christmas Eve.

Hope I can sleep tonight!