Marco Polo's Travels / 2000-2007

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  • Marco Polo Sees Monkeys with Stolen Purses, 2000, oil and acrylic on panel, 13x8.5 inches

  • Marco Polo and His Porter, Lost, 2001, oil and acrylic on panel, 12.5x10 inches

  • Marco Polo’s Sleeve Unravels, 2000, oil and acrylic on panel, 11x12 inches

  • Marco Polo Avoids a Naked Man, 2002, oil and acrylic on panel, 12x7.75 inches

  • Marco Polo Travels through a Landscape with Snakes, 2001, oil and acrylic on panel, 10.5x10 inches

  • Marco Polo Gets a Blister from New Shoes, 2002, oil and acrylic on panel, 9x11 inches

  • Marco Polo Watches Blue People, 2002, oil on panel, 12x10 inches

  • Marco Polo Tries Dried Monkey, 2003, oil on panel, 13x13 inches

  • Marco Polo Commissions Display Cases for his Collection, 2004, oil on panel, 10.25x12 inches

  • Marco Polo among Idol Worshipers, 2005, oil on panel, 13.5x8 inches

  • Marco Polo Writes in His Journal, 2005, oil on panel, 10.75x14 inches

  • Marco Polo Reaches Kobiam, at the Edge of the Desert, 2004, oil on panel, 11x13 inches

  • Marco Polo Sightseeing, 2006, oil on panel, 8.75x12 inches

  • Marco Polo Welcomed at Moriana, 2005, oil on panel, 10x12.5 inches

  • Marco Polo Forced to Eat Moths, 2003, oil on panel, 11x10 inches

  • Marco Polo Visits the Museum at Soncara, 2005, oil on panel, 11x9 inches

  • Marco Polo Discovers a New Species, 2004, oil on panel,10.5x12 inches

  • Marco Polo, Cold and Wet, 2004, oil on panel, 8x8 inches

  • Marco Polo at a Restaurant, 2006, oil on MDF, 10x11.75 inches

  • Marco Polo Shopping, 2006, oil on MDF, 12x8 inches

  • Marco Polo Collects Bird Eggs, 2006, oil on MDF, 12x9.5 inches

  • Marco Polo Arrives at Sapurgan, 2007, oil on MDF, 12x8 inches

  • Marco Polo Sees Monkeys with Stolen Purses, 2000, oil and acrylic on panel, 13x8.5 inches

  • Marco Polo and His Porter, Lost, 2001, oil and acrylic on panel, 12.5x10 inches

  • Marco Polo’s Sleeve Unravels, 2000, oil and acrylic on panel, 11x12 inches

  • Marco Polo Avoids a Naked Man, 2002, oil and acrylic on panel, 12x7.75 inches

  • Marco Polo Travels through a Landscape with Snakes, 2001, oil and acrylic on panel, 10.5x10 inches

  • Marco Polo Gets a Blister from New Shoes, 2002, oil and acrylic on panel, 9x11 inches

  • Marco Polo Watches Blue People, 2002, oil on panel, 12x10 inches

  • Marco Polo Tries Dried Monkey, 2003, oil on panel, 13x13 inches

  • Marco Polo Commissions Display Cases for his Collection, 2004, oil on panel, 10.25x12 inches

  • Marco Polo among Idol Worshipers, 2005, oil on panel, 13.5x8 inches

  • Marco Polo Writes in His Journal, 2005, oil on panel, 10.75x14 inches

  • Marco Polo Reaches Kobiam, at the Edge of the Desert, 2004, oil on panel, 11x13 inches

  • Marco Polo Sightseeing, 2006, oil on panel, 8.75x12 inches

  • Marco Polo Welcomed at Moriana, 2005, oil on panel, 10x12.5 inches

  • Marco Polo Forced to Eat Moths, 2003, oil on panel, 11x10 inches

  • Marco Polo Visits the Museum at Soncara, 2005, oil on panel, 11x9 inches

  • Marco Polo Discovers a New Species, 2004, oil on panel,10.5x12 inches

  • Marco Polo, Cold and Wet, 2004, oil on panel, 8x8 inches

  • Marco Polo at a Restaurant, 2006, oil on MDF, 10x11.75 inches

  • Marco Polo Shopping, 2006, oil on MDF, 12x8 inches

  • Marco Polo Collects Bird Eggs, 2006, oil on MDF, 12x9.5 inches

  • Marco Polo Arrives at Sapurgan, 2007, oil on MDF, 12x8 inches

This series of paintings of imaginary adventures of Marco Polo was originally inspired by the narrative structure and subject matter of Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities, in which a fictitious Marco Polo describes to the Kublai Khan all the cities he has visited on his travels. The series then grew to encompass personal experience of travel and cultural displacement, as well as ideas taken from the actual Travels of Marco Polo, a book with many contemporary parallels. Specifically, these paintings explore notions of xenophobia, tourism, exoticism, and cultural difference as Marco Polo, depicted as a wealthy westerner, and the quintessential tourist, is both drawn to and made uneasy by the foreign-ness of the exotic places he visits. While each painting has its own narrative, I am most interested in the larger narrative suggested by the series, as the recurring Marco Polo comes to be a sort of everyman, and we as viewers arrive at an understanding of the good, the bad, and the contradictory aspects of Polo’s (and perhaps our own) character.