Travel memoir comfortably sized for your back pocket & photo etchings.
In 2006, I spent six months in Florence, Italy as an American student abroad. Eight years later, I returned for six weeks to teach, walk, watch, think, eat, and learn. Butts of Florence is a collection of writing and photographs taken during this six-week stay. Formal black and white photographs of the butts of various Florentine sculptures punctuate writing that adopts the forms of diaristic entries, appropriated letter writing, travel guide tips, restaurant reviews, and poetic prose. Together, the text and image present the arc of a hungry, critical, introspective, romantic, and grateful visitor. This work was intended to be completed with quickness and spontaneity, being sent to print before the last mosquito bites had healed.
Working with master printer, John Greco, at Josephine Press in Santa Monica, it seemed appropriate to counter the lo-fi casual’ness of the publication with an object appropriate for the walls of the Getty.
On the day you depart, there’s not much time for romantic, heart-tugging reflection. Your ride leaves at 6:30, continuing the small and consistent waves of anxious pin pricks. You make it to the airport on time, early even, able to enjoy a last cappuccino immediately followed by a macchiato. The euro centesimi, pulled from a sandwich bag you found in a back pocket of your suitcase. The ziplock probably used to safely transport some kind of electronic device you didn’t even end up using. It’s really not until the plane has been taxied out and churns to a start on its own accord that you begin to think. Hit with the consequences, longings and excitements of the departure home. In the air, still diagonal, you look out, holding sight of every familiar architectural landmark you can find. Terracotta roofs and that yellow I never got the name of. Desperately, you look for the bigger markers that make their way onto the usual postcards: the dome, the river, the palatial garden. Such ideal vantage point, though out of your control. A roll of the dice from the Lufthansa Gods—right window? Left? Aisle seat? Still, you look desperately. And then, the Cascine, the Arno, the trickle of bridges, the Cupola and all of Oltarno. For a moment, the whole place, from such perspective that you can block it all out with your thumb. The Munich-bound plane banks left and the city in miniature falls below the oval window and is replaced with direct, blinding sun.
THE MEMOIR — 6.88 × 4.25 in., 100 pages, B&W.
THE ETCHINGS — Intaglio image prints on Arches cover paper 250 gm., 19.5 × 15 in. ea. No. 15 in a limited edition of 10 (w/ 3 donated to MATERIAL Press) + 2 AP and No. 24 in an open edition.