72"x36" oil paint on board, 2008
Experience in Rome
Departing the train station at night, loud chirping from the tree tops of the giant Cyprus trees filled the air. Looking up, I could see a massive throng of black bats flying around and through the trees, thriving like another city within Rome. Everywhere I looked a new story was unfolding and wanting to be told.
The next morning the streets were all quiet except for the occasional motor bike and automobile. There was a palpable mist in the air, just enough to wet the streets and sidewalk, giving a everything a glowing reflection in the morning rising sun. The air was fresh and clean. Modern Romans were beginning a new day in a city that has been alive for tens of thousands of years. -T.J. Mueller
About the Roman Forum
It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million sightseers yearly.