A Süphan on Lake Van

A Suphan for Celal -©2016 TriciVenola— Project patron Celal Ögmen grew up in this village a few decades ago. He came to Istanbul as a teenager. He stood outside a prosperous fish restaurant in Kumkapi: Kalamar, saying in to the tourists in all their languages, “Come here and eat fish.” Now he owns the restaurant and the one next door, educates his daughter in New York, is a cornerstone of local industry and a patron of the arts. One brother is a judge, the other a barrister in New York. You can do anything with brains and moxie.

A Suphan for Celal -©2016 TriciVenola— Project patron Celal Ögmen grew up in this village a few decades ago. He came to Istanbul as a teenager. He...
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Adam and Eve at Akdamar
2016 Adam & Eve at Holy Cross Aghtamar Island Lake Van 915-921 CE -©2016 TriciVenola — This last date refers to when they were carved. Note that Adam and Eve were carved sans genitalia. Despite damage by vandals, both still have curiously benign expressions. Down in the lower right corner is a an eviscerated female figure. The vandals left the snake alone, perhaps for professional courtesy.
2016 Adam & Eve at Holy Cross Aghtamar Island Lake Van 915-921 CE -©2016 TriciVenola — This last date refers to when they were carved. Note tha...
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Alexander Rides to Midas
-Bes, protector against evil-Roman copy from Cyprus -Hittite Lion 6C BCE -ALEXANDER -Midas tomb bracelets -pitcher -Phrygia 740 BCE -Alexander rides from Hittite lions across the ancient gods & griffins to Midas gold at the Archeological Museum ©TriciVenola 2012
-Bes, protector against evil-Roman copy from Cyprus -Hittite Lion 6C BCE -ALEXANDER -Midas tomb bracelets -pitcher -Phrygia 740 BCE -Alexander rides f...
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Aspects of Love
-Crossed Augustus – Ivory talking stick actual size- Dionysius -Actual size desiccated Apostle-like ivory from wall frieze 2ndCentury Roman -Eros -Selçuk Museum last day. August 2012 -Very famous stone Priapus; actual size from Ephesus, in its own case with a pushbutton light. I had to keep pushing it, and the entire ROOM gathered. ©TriciVenola 2012
-Crossed Augustus – Ivory talking stick actual size- Dionysius -Actual size desiccated Apostle-like ivory from wall frieze 2ndCentury Roman -Eros -S...
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Bible Stories in Stone

Bible Stories in Stone ©TriciVenola 2016

Few could read, so these figures proclaimed the Holy Word to all who looked on them. Absolute delight carved in red tufa, these figures are about 3/4 life-size and protrude about 4 inches from the stone blocks from which they are carved. One pictures the cartoons on paper or canvas fixed to the surface of blocks that stick out farther than those above and below. They would have covered the back of the canvas with pigment and traced the drawings from the front. And then up on ladders, hacking and then tapping away, finalizing with passion and skill, patiently creating the vivid images in the tedious medium. Armenian art is all based on circles. Its testimony to the expertise of the artists that these figures carved on stone blocks are all so curvilinear. And those borders!

Bible Stories in Stone ©TriciVenola 2016Few could read, so these figures proclaimed the Holy Word to all who looked on them. Absolute delight carved...
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Big Faces Agape
-Vize Tumulus -Bronze -Roman Period -Kirklareli 1st C BC -Tykhe Goddess of Destiny -2ndC AD -Bronze bust of Aelia Eudocia: early 5thC AD -Marble satyr mask 2ndC AD Bithynia -Terracotta 1-2C AD -Bronze bulls 1C AD Thrace -Male Bronze stand Claudiopolis (Bolu) 1C AD -Big Faces Agape at the Archeological Museum A favorite drawing. The bust of Empress Eudocia at center is a weight for measuring goods. She was the much-loved Empress of Theodosius II.
-Vize Tumulus -Bronze -Roman Period -Kirklareli 1st C BC -Tykhe Goddess of Destiny -2ndC AD -Bronze bust of Aelia Eudocia: early 5thC AD -Marble satyr...
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Chairs at Priene
-Priene -Wind in the pines- Lion-footed chairs- Thick slick patina enamels the heavy solid marble- so familiar & right- 24 August 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012 The ancient Greek theater at Priene is overgrown with pine trees, which horrifies archeologists. I find it charming. There are five massive marble chairs around the stage at center. They are right at the edge and there is no blood screen. This means that the theater is intact from ancient Greek times, before the Romans and their blood sports. Alexander the Great paid for this theater. Did he sit here? Many tourists have, which is the reason for the thick enamel-like patina, all from the last hundred years.
-Priene -Wind in the pines- Lion-footed chairs- Thick slick patina enamels the heavy solid marble- so familiar & right- 24 August 2012 ©TriciVenola 2...
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Crosses in the Dark
-Drawing in the dark -Constellations in the marble -26October 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012 An exhausting drawing experience. There’s so much detail in Hagia Sophia that it almost subsumed the subject matter. But I had to do one drawing of these fabulous graffiti crosses in context. My back was literally against the wall, and I was scrunched down almost to the floor, for three days, to get this drawing.
-Drawing in the dark -Constellations in the marble -26October 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012 An exhausting drawing experience. There’s so much detail in Ha...
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Empresses
At last!! Both Hagia Sophia and Hagia Eirene in one shot, as they actually appear. 2nd Century Hagia Eirene, at left, was rebuilt after the Nika Riots of 532, and served as a munitions dump under the Ottomans. Hagia Sophia, built by Justinian and Theodora, was consecrated in 537, the greatest church in Christendom for 1000 years. After 1453, it was a mosque, renovated in the 16th century by great architect Mimar Sinan, for Suleyman the Magnificent. Sinan buttressed the huge and fragile dome, anchoring the buttresses with minarets, which set off the grand old dame like a fabulous pair of earrings. No other building so completely illustrates the duality of Istanbul’s history. I still look at this and hear Mahalia Jackson singing “Way Up.”
At last!! Both Hagia Sophia and Hagia Eirene in one shot, as they actually appear. 2nd Century Hagia Eirene, at left, was rebuilt after the Nika Riots...
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Harmantepe
Harmantepe- very wet cold day -1May -©2016 TriciVenola — Another cousin of Celal’s, Ridvan, showed up at the hotel to take me at last to the village I’d come to draw, up in the mountains above Adilcevaz. We drove through misty rain under lowering clouds, with these four mountains brooding in front of us all the way: dark and implacable. On the way, we stopped for a flock of sheep, and I got out and took a photograph of this village. I was able to get this drawing later. It took hours, and the rain would have made it impossible in any case.
Harmantepe- very wet cold day -1May -©2016 TriciVenola — Another cousin of Celal’s, Ridvan, showed up at the hotel to take me at last to the vi...
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Medusa on the Side
Everybody photographs the other Medusa, the one standing on its head. This one has things the other one doesn’t- nostrils and irises. These heads were probably from some abandoned project, used to prop up short columns in the very darkest back corner of an underground cistern.
Everybody photographs the other Medusa, the one standing on its head. This one has things the other one doesn’t- nostrils and irises. These heads we...
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Medusa One

Second day: the shadows make it. I’d intended this for the book, but went in another direction.

God, it was hot. I spent as much time as possible drawing down in the Cistern. Water dripping in the dim echoes, antique columns, few alike, marching off into the shadows.

Second day: the shadows make it. I’d intended this for the book, but went in another direction.God, it was hot. I spent as much time as possibl...
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