“On his third voyage to the New World in 1498, Christopher Columbus discovered Venezuela, which Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci explored the next year. The early explorers named the country ‘Venezuela’ (Spanish for little Venice) because they found inhabitants living in stilt houses in lakes.” – Library of Congress – Federal Research Division
“In the current tempestuous state of politics, Bailly’s paintings pull us back to a genesis; the acuteness of a moment when two forces crashed into each other to become something new: the colonizer and the colonized; the world born from that moment of violence, trauma and fervor.” Melissa Díaz, Cultural Arts Curator at Deering Estate
Venice Venezuela reflects on the moment of first contact between Europe and the Americas. Venice appears in the Miami Blues of the Americas, as if a surreal floating city in an ambiguous space that is both sky and sea. Based on a map of Venice from the 1590’s, the city lands on a figure and his world explodes. He attempts to grasp the culture, land, and identity he knows, but in that very moment of first contact it explodes into a plume of white smoke. The figure can be seen as an indigenous figure, or a European, but is essentially a portrait of every Miamian trying to hold our own identity. From his chest emanates multiple Fibonacci spirals of roses.
The painted mosaic blue tesserae originate from a specific moment in Venezia. I had just finished a long day of walking lecture with my students. I was on the upper level in the Basilica San Marco Museum. The light flickered on the golden mosaic tesserae and I knew in that very Stendhal moment that I wanted to paint that light. But my painting needed to be the light of Miami, the light I see as sky and sea reflect each other.
The application of paint and overall shape were inspired by the Klein painting in the Centre Pompidou in Paris.