Arthur Duff's artwork reveals the uniqueness of every person, at the Home of The Human Safety Net inside Venice’s Procuratie Vecchie

14 April 2023 - 11:30
  • The installation 'The Hungriest Eye. The Blossoming of Potential', is to be part of the A World of Potential exhibition itinerary, and will be on display from 15 April
  • The Home of The Human Safety Net has welcomed over 60,000 visitors and more than 100 events in the first year since its opening to the public

Venice - The language of art can express everyone's individuality through unique forms that, when encountering others, lead to surprising combinations. This is the spirit of 'The Hungriest Eye. The Blossoming of Potential', a piece by Arthur Duff, which will be on display for visitors from 15 April until 10 March 2024 inside to the Art Studio, the space where art dialogues with social issues, within the Home of The Human Safety Net at Venice’s Procuratie Vecchie in St. Mark’s Square.

‘The Hungriest Eye – The Blossoming of Potential’ was opened today with Generali's Chairman, Andrea Sironi, the Chairman of The Human Safety Net Foundation, Gabriele Galateri, and the General Secretary, Emma Ursich, with artist Arthur Duff and curator Luca Massimo Barbero, who with this installation inaugurates his two-year Art Studio curatorial project, attending.

Duff's work supplements and complements the permanent and interactive 'A World of Potential' exhibition, an immersive experience to understand and connect with our potential, exploring strengths and discovering the best qualities within ourselves and others, also through the stories of The Human Safety Net's beneficiaries, staff and volunteers. This exhibition embodies the values of the Foundation’s programmes, for families with children aged 0-6 and refugees, developed with the clear aim to unlock the potential of those living in vulnerable circumstances through a network of people helping people, united in the belief that no one should be left behind. 

Arthur Duff's work, within 'A World of Potential', helps visitors see their strengths transformed into an artistic representation using a laser system that creates unique shapes in a kaleidoscope of light. It draws inspiration from 19th-century Japanese woodcuts depicting fireworks, emblems of an ideal of ephemeral and transient beauty, designed to astound and surprise the eye of the beholder. A 'hungry' eye - hence the work's title - seeks to be the point of passage of a perceptual stimulus and a participant in processing the experience.

The visitor, after exploring their own potential, will enter into the Art Studio and witness the creation of an artist creation, that captures a unique representation of their strengths. 'The Hungriest Eye' is therefore both an individual and, at the same time, a collective experience. The laser composition of the representation of strengths takes about two minutes. However, after thirty seconds, it then formulates the representation of a new visitor, when they arrive. Anyone entering the Art Studio is therefore unconsciously called upon to experience interactive dynamics with others: the sharing of a space and an experience, the freedom to express themselves in interaction with others.

The same visitor can repeat the experience several times and witness the formation of an ever-changing image. This is because every experience changes and alters our way of being. The infinite variety of forms that unfold before the 'hungry eye’ expresses this.

This unique experience in Venice uses the lens and language of art to remind us of the importance of everyone's right to express their potential also, as in this case, through the artistic process.

The opening of 'The Hungriest Eye' is an opportunity to celebrate the first year of the Home of The Human Safety Net at the Procuratie Vecchie, a building of exceptional historical and monumental importance, restored through a respectful and innovative project by David Chipperfield Architects Milan, which was mentioned by the jury that awarded David Chipperfield the Pritzker Prize 2023.

In its first year, this iconic space has welcomed over 60,000 visitors and hosted over 100 events, and as a result, supporting the activities of The Human Safety Net. Half the ticket price supports the Foundation’s programmes for vulnerable families with children aged 0-6 and for the economic and professional inclusion of refugees.

Andrea Sironi, Chairman of Assicurazioni Generali, said: “We live in a historical moment in which inequalities are increasing due to the overlapping of systemic crises. Generali looks at global challenges by playing the role of responsible insurer, investor, employer, and corporate citizen to bring a positive and tangible contribution within the communities where it operates. This is where The Human Safety Net foundation operates, to make a difference for thousands of vulnerable families and refugees eager to rebuild their lives through a new career path.”

Luca Massimo Barbero, curator of the Art Studio, stressed: “The Art Studio is a place of visual and personal experimentation that the visitor experiences throughout this extraordinary floor of The Human Safety Net, a floating place and visual touchpoint in the heart of Venice. The theme is creating a network that connects the activities of The Human Safety Net space to art and the social issues developed and represented here. Arthur Duff has created an intimate and visually intense experience that starts conceptually from the history of the visual, the ephemeral and the marvelous, such as the great Oriental firework tradition. He returns it to the modern world in the centre of Piazza San Marco. In this way, he involves the eye of the visitor in what we need to do daily in this extraordinary city and in life.”

Arthur Duff explained: “’The Hungriest Eye. The Blossoming of Potential’ is an artwork that began as a collaboration with The Human Safety Net. As an artist, it was a unique opportunity to investigate the invisible aspects of art objects as interconnected physical and non-physical systems. I want to create collaborative spaces where members of the public can actively participate in creating the artwork through their personal experience of the museum in its entirety. The viewer’s involvement is integrated into the artwork’s structure and incorporated within the Home of The Human Safety Net.”

Gabriele Galateri di Genola, President of The Human Safety Net Foundation, said: “With Arthur Duff’s work, the Foundation is celebrating one year of activity in its Home at the Procuratie Vecchie in Venice, a space open to dialogue and discussion, also through the privileged language of art, aiming to generate social innovation with a positive impact on the community. Never before has the Foundation’s mission made such an impact on people’s welfare as in this period of uncertainty and change. From its foundation in 2017 to the end of 2022, The Human Safety Net Foundation reached over 210,000 people, including parents, children and refugees, working with 77 partner NGOs in 24 countries where the Group operates.”

The Home of The Human Safety Net is open daily, except Tuesdays, from 10 am to 7 pm.

On 15 and 16 April, admission will be free for all residents of the Metropolitan City of Venice, for holders of the Venezia Unica card and students of Venice's universities. To book, please visit:


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