That Time I Went To Naples For Street Art And Not For Pizza
Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Do we really need to wait in line, pay for a ticket, and visit a museum to see a work of art? Actually, we don’t. You can take a train or a plane heading to a big city, Naples for example, and enjoy its street art and architecture, which are always on show and never change their expositions to follow the current trend.
A masterpiece is usually protected by a glass case... Well, Neapolitans are great businessmen and immediately recognized the value of this graffito made by Banksy. You wanted to visit a museum, didn’t you? Here is one! Never forget to write the name of the sponsor on the tag...There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Where is Banksy? We feel like we’re inside Banksy Does New York, looking for him in the narrow streets of the city. Oh, here he is, inside the case. In Naples, the irreverent Banksy does not find too much space, maybe because his black and white technique clashes with this colourful city.
From the narrow street where the Englishman’s artwork can be admired, we walk to the huge masterpiece of the Italian artist Blu. If a masterpiece must be in a case to be recognized, let’s do something that can not be closed in. That is Blu’s artwork, painted on an ex-psychiatric hospital in the Materdei neighborhood. Its size expresses the function of this graffito as an artistic work itself.
The work of art communicates without the necessity of captions, which we usually see in museums. The anguish transmitted by this place is self-evident.
But I wonder: is there a middle ground between an artist who is so famous that he deserves a glass case so everyone can notice his work, and an artist who needs to do something so big that is impossible to be missed? Yes, there is. By making our way through teenagers on scooters, people selling cigarettes on the street, a crowded square, and a pizza restaurant corner, we find Alice Pasquini’s portraits. These colorful little faces are scattered all over the city and they decorate the boring street furniture.
The majority of them has been covered or dirtied with other tags. But this is the way these works of art interact with the city. The city itself becomes part of the creative process and contributes to the everyday change of this open-air museum.
Also, you know, street art is an old tradition in Naples...
Fresco from the Roman site of Pompei
...but if you are not interested on it, you can still go there to enjoy Napolitan food.
Written with all my love for Naples and all the artists I mentioned.