Welcome to the world of Luse: paintbrushes, color and love for the city on the water

Storiedichi_art_in_veniceVenice (Calle Lunga San Barnaba) – It’s a comfort to see that in Venice – despite the invasion of low-cost tourism – there is still a street that sparkles with the creativity of artists, artisans, restorers and merchants. This is the Calle Lunga San Barnaba and it is still not very well known to tourists. The studio on the street where Luana Segato works today has passed from artist to artist. Luana’s predecessor was her teacher, Davide Battistin, and anybody who passes by knows without entering that the interior is a workplace with canvas and paints. Luana comes here every day to paint. For her, nothing is more beautiful: Venice, art, a passion and a studio that exudes optimism and positivity.

“This is not, unfortunately, a typical tourist stop, but being able to work in Venice is a privilege,” Luana Segato says. Known as “Luse,” the name with which she signs her mostly “spatial” work, Luana is inspired by the architecture of Venice. These days, she is working on a painting of the façade of the Ca’ d’Oro, shaping it into the form of a woman’s torso.

Many of Luana’s canvases have stitching. “I like to join different pieces of cotton and make paintings out of scraps of fabric,” she says. Scraps and sewing always have been a passion. One of the pieces that most fascinates clients is, in fact, a “re-stitched” slash of canvas, a distinctive Luse mark, unmistakably reminiscent of Lucio Fontana. “I’ve always loved Fontana’s slashes, so I wanted to re-interpret them by removing scraps of fabric and re-stitching them with thread, almost like reuniting the finite with the infinite.”
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One would willingly pass an infinite amount of time in Luana’s studio, where only the light is electric and where the eye can focus on some strange necklaces made of rectangles and squares of fabric. “They are the product of a friendship formed in calle Lunga San Barnaba with Lauretta Vistosi, my neighbor who sells bags and accessories made of fabric and ribbed faux leather. We decided to join forces to make ear-rings and artistic necklaces,” the painter explains. These provocative accessories, made of cut and re-stitched colored fabric, show that art is not merely to be viewed: it also can be worn and re-invented.

In some stores in London, Berlin or New York, objects like these would sell like wildfire. In Venice, they are slow to catch on, especially from a street exploding with talent just waiting to be discovered. Together with other artisans, Luana Segato is one of the moving forces of Calle Lunga San Barnaba.

Her studio is often the scene of impromptu gatherings and “spritz.”

WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY Silvia Zanardi