It hides and then leaps
A spray, a whisper
Reflections of light
Dance like kisses on the surface
Born in pieces and returning
-Kianga Ellis, Poem from Venice (2005)
The above poem was written in Venice and while it literally refers to the waters of The Grand Canal, it also reflects how deeply I was falling in love with art itself. Five years ago I went in search of a life that was alive and a profession that combined meaning with passion.
The Friday before Memorial Day weekend in 2005 was my last day as a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Goldman Sachs. I had already reserved the domain name, www.availart.com, and my plane tickets to London, Venice and Basel were burning a hole in my pocket.
I wrote the following at the Italian Pavilion of the 51st Biennale di Venezia (this portion of the famous international exhibition of art was aptly named “The Experience of Art”):
I am learning so much about the past, present and future. People do not know what art is. They do not know its humanity, passion, relevance and power. Its importance! Art is identity, voice, aspiration, passion, culture, protest, questions, answers, challenge, empowerment, understanding, validation, revolution, truth, reflection, exclusion, conformity…
-Notes from Venice (15 June 2005)