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Expressions like “true art” have always sounded too pompous for me.

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One June of my life found me on the coast of the Adriatic sea, at the best lagoon in the world; I was drunk in a crowd of Italian teenagers and German tourists; by the way, the girl in the red dress is a sculptor, and the spooky shadows around her – some other students of the Venice Art Summer Academy, who were probably discussing “true art” at the very moment, when I took the picture. I remember this second: I sat down on the ground and placed my camera on the stone; the air of the summer night was so hot, I was slowly melting; my bones got soft, my skin – porous and wet. Time was floating through my body, like sand through sieve, and I pressed the button on the camera.

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Having stumbled upon this photo after a while, I recalled the square, the sweaty clouds passing by some Venetian tower, the girl in the red dress, and realized: something stayed, remained in time, a tiny pebble in the sieve, a short flash of summer heat, and how can I say, was it true, or was it art? Obviously, if I had not pressed that button on my camera, I would have stayed on the canvas of that night as just a wasted Russian guy lost in the abundance of voices, smiles, bare feet and naked shoulders. What particularly made me an artist: an invisible contraction inside my finger, that opened the camera lens? How “true” was that contraction then?

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