I have been thinking about Florence lately. There are elements of the city I miss and of course the wonderful people I met there, yet I’m relieved I finally got out. The locals are great and are such warm people and really make you laugh when you understand the Italian life style. A city built and renowned for its classical art has a very interesting pull when it comes to the visitors who move there. That beautifully preserved town can be a black hole of nostalgia.
When you walk in her streets, you can clearly picture how life was like back in the days of the Italian masters. Looking at what the academy’s mission is to keep the practice going of traditional art, you understand that these people unconsciously don’t want to move forward in their lives. I really don’t mean this in a rude and crass way. What I’m trying to say is that people are running from something. There’s a truth no one wants to face. Putting yourself in the position where all you do is the same naturally lit portraits with the same pose every single day means you don’t want to advance to something. Why? My opinion is fear. Scared of reality. Michelangelo and John Singer Sargent were great at what they did but the truth is you guys won’t ever be them.
To my friends who are reading this, I’m sorry if this offends you, but you guys are running from something. You don’t want to face what’s happening in your reality. What better way to hide from it than to be sheltered in a city by its history and stay in a school that never really lets you graduate and if you do, you become a teacher there. I see it now. Listen, I was running too at one point. I didn’t want to accept my dreams being shattered. Those dreams being the ones I had of the academy. That I was going to pledge and be finally part of something with people who understood me. I ran away and I didn’t want to paint portraits for a while.
I didn’t spackle my feelings over with nostalgia like the rest of you. I kept distancing myself from portraits and locking myself in the mindset of being like Basquiat and the rest of the gang. Nostalgia is a dirty liar making us believe times were better back then even if we never lived to see them. That’s what they’re doing in Florence. I know why most of them won’t go back home and what better way to avoid your problems then to stay in that city surrounded by others who are in hiding just like you. This is where I’m going to stop myself because I’m not using this as a platform to attack what’s going on there. This isn’t 2013 Cabba anymore.
I miss Florence and I hope one day you can see it in this type of light. Don’t worry, I’m happy to visit again, but I’ll be one of the first to celebrate when you decide to leave.