Dripping With Pathos

Dripping With Pathos

1993 oil on canvas 58 x 51 inches

A stereotypical cross-cultural decorative object becomes a thing of presage when a timer-light shuts off abruptly on a staircase landing in a small hotel in Venice. An after-image of a multicolored drip candle in a Chianti bottle is forthwith elevated to the level of haunting harbinger in Dripping with Pathos. Every quivering drip, dribble, and trickle of the cumulative stalactite ooze conjures an Italian "grotto grip" in our traipsing traveler. Failed beseeching of strangers on the canals and bridges leaves our guide to his own devices for enlightenment. Word has it that it is a perverted remnant of a virginity test left over from Marco Polo's sea-trade days. Near the temple of Diana in Ephesus was a grotto that doubled as a test for chastity. When a woman enters it and discordant sounds are heard, the woman is never seen. If however, musical sounds are heard, the woman is a pure virgin and comes from the grotto unharmed. When a long return voyage to the silken waters of Venice provides the opportunity to contemplate this carnal calumniation vitiated by stops at Greek ports for wax, an aberration of a myth is created which radiates with an incessant calling from a collective unconsciousness. From this same ear Of Venetian history is a complimentary male myth regarding the competitive size of pepper grinders that space does not permit a digression.

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