In my five years of living here, and five years of Carnevale, I've rarely taken images of the many mysterious silent masked figures who migrate to Venice at this time of year. They're the favorite subjects of the scores of photographers who also roost here at this time of year, many of them professionals, so I saw no reason to simply repeat what so many other folks were doing. And generally I find the human face more interesting than a mask when it comes to taking pictures.
But I turned the corner this evening and there was this character, cleverly alight, and there were the columns and San Giorgio di Maggiore and it was almost as though I was actually looking at one of these figures for the first time. How odd it must be to spend all day being looked at by so many people but never actually seen, to be blatantly on display while being completely concealed. In a city that offers unlimited opportunities for people-watching, how particular must be the experience when it is done from behind one of these masks, within one of these costumes--an object of the public gaze who, paradoxically, is more seeing than seen.