Since I was a young boy, wandering further and further from our home, I became fascinated by doors and passageways... doors in vine covered walls, doors in Victorian mansions; doors in old stone buildings; doors of churches; doors in schools; doors in barns; doors in banks; doors in government buildings... always pondering why lies beyond. Some had fancy carved details in wood or perhaps a filigree of metalwork. Others had polished brass or bronze hardware. Still others had stained glass allowing colored light to pour into the spaces they protected.
You can tell a lot by a door. You can tell when there's a lot of history behind it. You can easily determine if the door is a portal to wealth or that people behind it live penny to penny. You can tell if there is importance or elegance in the structure or if the door was borrowed from another structure and made to fit in its new home by some frugal handyman. You can always tell if a door has the same age and patina as the building it is standing guard over.
Then there were the entrances to shops, where you would find an invitation to enter and fulfill your utmost desire: new shoes that let me put a penny in the front; nickle candy and pretzels or amazing chocolate bunny rabbits for Easter; pastries and cakes for our large family; the fantasy world of the local toy store; the art supply store; the stationary store; new clothes for a new school year; just the right tool or part for my father to fix something in our home; special cuts of meats for a holiday meal... I grew up in a town with lots of small Mom & Pop shops that are mostly gone since the mall-sprawl teased their customers away from their doorsteps. I discovered shops like this in Italy, alive and thriving.
As an artist and photographer, I suppose what I love best is the symmetry and texture of doors. The way the light falls across magnificent bas relief carvings or brings out the texture of paint peeling and falling off a weather-worn door. I love their colors, too... often a shocking departure from the rest of the structure. And when doors are flanked by columns, plinths and crowned with intricate pediments, I'm in architectural nirvana. I love the mystery that compels the viewer to enter--even if its only in their minds eye.
I often think of doors in terms of the passage of time, rather than just being a real world passage. I try to imagine who has passed through... perhaps minutes before, or hundreds of years before. I try to hear the children giggling as they poured out in the mornings, or how a father coming home from work after a long day longed for nothing more than to pass through his door and have a meal, spend a few minutes with his wife and kids and finally get a chance to rest... On historic structures, I always imagine the craftsmen who built it. And when I can, I'll slow down, take a turn on the doorknob or a pull at the handle and go exploring...
Enjoy my photographs of the Doors of Italy.
All photos copyright 2014 - 2017, Finzi Photography - All Rights Reserved