Must-Read for Art, Design and Architecture Lovers: Dream of Venice in Black and White

Introduction by Tiziano Scarpa Edited by JoAnn Locktov
Bella Figura Publications • $26.99 • Photograph by Lisa Katsiaris

The first thing to know about JoAnn Locktov, who edited this book and two previous Dream of Venice volumes, is that she calls herself a Venetophile – a lover of Venice.

“I fell in love the moment I first experienced it in 1996. Through the years, I’ve seen Venice struggling, with tourism taking precedence over residents,” she laments. “We need to declare it as a relevant, living city. About 30 million visitors go every year.

“My goal is to create an alternative to the typical guidebooks offering the same landmarks, photographed the exact same way. I want my books to remind people of what we risk losing in this beguiling place,” she adds.

“Dream of Venice in Black and White” contains 77 striking B&W images taken by more than 50 photographers. You will find a gondolier, nuns, streets and people – from an older woman shopping (“The Fishmonger,” Mark Lindsay, 2012) to a beautiful young lady in a strapless dress, walking alone at night (“Elegant Venice,” Geert-Jan de Bont, 2017).

The oldest pictures were taken by Giancarlo Carbon and Gianni Berengo Gardin in 1959 and 1960. One of the most provocative captures is “The priest and the pigeons” by Alain Hamon, 2016. Roman Henze, 2017, La Serenissima

“The structures, spaces, hollows and stones of Venice have inspired architects all over the world,” notes Locktov. “I chose these photos based on the composition of line, light and balance, then looked for an emotional connection. Next, I asked myself, ‘Does the photo traverse time? What story is it telling me? Do I care? Why do I care?’”

She reflects that “I am pragmatic, and the city defied all logic. I wasn’t aware it was possible to ‘fall in love’ with a place, but Venice wove her web of enchantment.” Her California calendar includes an annual monthlong visit.

“The foggy, grey, wet days of November are heaven for a pluviophile,” she contends. And with that, this Venetophile teaches us the word for a lover of rain.

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