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The Artist Within
Meet Venetian painter Gloria Baron
When I first met Gloria in the 1990s, she was wiping tuna fish off her hands while Simone sliced the prosciutto paper thin for my wife. Simone and Gloria had a delicatessen just a few steps from La Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Venice.
They were proud of their quality products, and of the pioneering work they and other Venetians were doing in a new movement called “Slow Food Made in Italy”. The Slow Food movement started in Piemonte, and in 1990 the congress in Venice created The Slow Food Association which now has over 10,000 projects in 160 countries.
The hectic pace of their activities began to take a toll. When we visited them in 2005, they both looked exhausted. They wanted to find work that wasn’t so physically demanding, but still something they were passionate about. Gloria was born and raised in Murano, the Venetian island home to the best blown glass artists in the world. In 2009, she gave up the deli and started to design and produce blown glass jewelry from Murano. Simone, meanwhile, converted their old store into an art gallery.
It was quite a risk to give up the solid income of a grocery store to gamble on selling authentic blown glass jewelry. In Venice, it seems like every street corner has a store selling counterfeit glass knockoffs made overseas for less than 5 euro, making it difficult for authentic artisans to compete.
But the quality of Gloria’s work was exceptional, and her reputation grew. When I visited the gallery in 2015, the business was thriving. The couple looked younger than they did on my visit ten years prior. While happy with her blown glass work, Gloria had another talent and another dream. She wanted to become a painter using canvas as her new medium. In 2020, her paintings began to appear in the gallery. Word of her works began spreading. Gloria received an invitation to display eight of her paintings in Clearwater Florida, and she sold every one of them. Then the prestigious Modigliani Foundation exhibited her works in conjunction with the Biennale di Venezia.
Her style has been described as “Surrealism 2.0”, combining dreams and reality, and extending beyond the work of Dali and Ernst. Gloria once said that she is “…trying to transmit emotions, sentiments, imprinting in the canvas, colors, tones, and silent subjects capable of transporting the observer into a hyper-real humanistic dimension.”
No matter how her work is described, it is without a doubt outstanding. We are all fortunate that the artist within has been released for us all to enjoy.
Click Here to order Barry’s book The Venice Experiment
For more information about Gloria Baron and her work, visit her in Venice at:
Essegi Art Gallery
Campo Santa Maria Nova, 6060
Or her website: gloria-baron.business.site