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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Kissing Venice Goodbye

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

This was the last picture I did at the Venice Carnevale this year. The Italian artiste Mary Cosmica, with her very unique costume art, very different from most other Venetian Masks. I first met Mary outside the Cafe Florian on the 22nd February. I was having a private photography session with a student from Australia and I had to show him the Cafe Florian at its busiest time. The next day was supposed to be the last day of the Venice Carnevale - cut short because of the impending corona virus pandemic. I remember commenting to my student what a fine costume Mary had on (honestly I haven't seen anything so special before), but of course I didn't know who she was then, it was extremely crowded and I didn't know how to ask her for a photo session given that kind of circumstances. Fate would have it that one of my Italian model friend Gianluigi came along and introduced Mary to me. We talked and Mary said she'd love to have a portrait from me, so we met at dawn the next morning at Formosa and took this photo in the streets. Half an hour later, I had to rush to catch my ferry to the airport, and from there to Doha, Singapore and then Taipei.

Every year from 2014, I come to the Venice Carnevale. I started off as a tourist and then as a model at my teacher Jim Zuckerman's photo workshop. Of course I am regarded as a professional photographer nowadays. One of the most common questions I get is "How do you get so many models/ photo subjects so easily?" Well, I suppose you need to get to know the local community well and talk to people often enough and say yes often enough.

Will there be a Venice Carnevale next year?

Unlikely, but if it takes place, it might be a very different Carnevale altogether with the current pandemic situation resulting in many travel restrictions and with it, the glooming recession...

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