Monsters–Madi, July 2, 2017

I think I’ve made it very clear on this trip that I’m enamored with monsters and creatures. To me they’re endlessly fascinating. They reflect cultural ideas about religion, politics, history, folklore, and many other parts of society. Having lived in the US my entire life I got used to the regular brand of monsters popular there; the werewolves, vampires, cutesy faeries, unicorns, bigfoot, night devils, etc. It some sense it became very repetitious and boring, expected. There was not excitement, no creativity in what I saw over and over again.

Coming to Italy completely solved this problem for me. There are weird and strange monsters out the wazoo!! I’ve seen nightmarish devils and human-animal combinations prowling the ceilings and walls in nearly every town we’ve visited. Some designs are repeated, but there always fresh and unique takes. Each iteration is new, its own separate manifestation of human creativity in that exact moment. While I sometimes doubt the sanity or lucidity of the creators, it’s always been amusing to look up (or down) and see a human face plastered on absurd creatures. I’ll be processing the photos I’ve taken for many many months after I get back, giving my mind plenty of time to create my own monsters in turn.


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