Distant travels

When travelling Guidi liked to slowly immerse himself to the atmosphere. We lived timelessly, that is, we lived without luxury, as the natives, far away from the palaces and tour operators. How to get to know a little of India or Egypt in two months? So we often left for a long time in rather Spartan conditions, out of choice, not so much out of necessity. We travelled the small roads, stayed in lost villages, sleeping in local houses or in small, very simple hotels. We took local transport, which was an adventure in itself, without necessarily forgetting to visit the monuments and prestigious places of interest.

So we were never ‘tourists’ and we never went ‘on holiday’ (a word we detested as there is emptiness in a ‘holiday’ whereas travelling is full of subtle touches! For both of us travelling was our passion: a solid and fruitfull foundation for our human and artistic adventure. Guidi trusted me to prepare these ordeals, trusting my metaculous and moral organization skills, but sometimes he would slow down my devouring urge to visit sites and to meet different people.

So many maps and documents we studied before our expeditions! And above all in a short time, quickly learning a little Arab before leaving for Egypt, and after a confusing moment understanding that the Egyptian dialict is completely different, quickly learn again about a hundred different words and sentences. Quickly revising school Italien of German, or even more quickly memorizing some sentences in Sinhalese, for examle. But so many doors and hearts were opened thanks to the language of knowlegde about the visited countries...

Guidi who did not speak any foreign language and decided once and for all that he was not gifted with the ability, he did however possess an amazing sense of meeting people, showing discretion and respect. When locals were besieged by tourists for a fee, it enraged Guidi which he considered to be a violation.

The odd number of persons depicted in his ‘distant landscapes’ possess a truly exceptional presence, even from behind. Before taking photographes or sketching people, he would always talk to them with gestures and above all he looked at them intelligently with a soft expression in his eyes that at once won people over, making them look authentic again.

Egypt and India, Jordania more than Israel or Turkey (that fascinated him though) inspired Guidi, far from picturesque and the big crowds. He was very meticulous and pure in his view of Petra, in Jordania, which led him to true abstraction.

Goat in front of the Mahamalipuram temple (sculptors’ village near Madras in Tamil Nadu (southern India)