In the week of the Venice Biennale 2017, artist Philip Colbert created a painting of a cruise ship barrelling through the Grand Canal in Venice to highlight the damage that tourist cruise ships are causing to the city.
As an artist I’ve always been drawn to Venice, the ultimate art city, inhabited throughout the centuries by legendary painters, writers, poets, filmmakers, and collectors from Canaletto to Peggy Guggenheim. It’s been portrayed so many times that the Venice painting has become a genre in itself.
Venice is completely unique, and I like to think of it as a medieval futuristic fantasy. Just like our fantasies of colonising space, it took a remarkable feat of effort and imagination to create this delicate and beautiful city floating over water. Approaching Venice by water-taxi feels comparable to taking a space rocket to a city on the moon.