Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Street art in Napoli

So, my day didn't provide all that much material for a blog post: got up, caught up on blogging about Capri from yesterday, played on the internet for a bit, then took one last walk around Naples to shop a little and get one last pizza. I'll sum that all up a bit later, along with my parting thoughts about my experience in Naples. For now, though, I wanted to bring you a selection of the pictures I've been collecting over the past few days of Naples' amazing street art.

Now, some people would walk around the city of Naples and see a city "blighted by graffiti", as one American blogger put it in an otherwise complimentary review that I was reading earlier this week. I don't see that. Sure, Naples is covered with graffiti, and a lot of it is that common-denominator "tagging" that is so ubiquitous everywhere and not particularly interesting. But in and among the leavings of less creative types, there are all sorts of amazing wall pieces, stencils, wheatpastes, and other types of artwork that turn a walk through the city into a tour of a free and whimsical modern art gallery. There's also a running battle throughout the streets between some sort of white power/neo-Nazi element and antifascist anarchists and communists who write over their slogans and turn their swastikas into pictures of other things. I haven't photographed much of this, but I've found it interesting, and I'm glad to see that my team is winning.

And now, on to the art, just a small sample from the streets in my immediate neighborhood (there are plenty more all over the city):

This little guy was close to the Cappella Sansevero.

And I couldn't get over the detail of this elephant - it looks like it really took time.

These guys make me smile, and also make me think that somebody must be a fan of Joan Miro.

This epic wrestling match is just around the corner from Giovanni's hostel....

....and I'm wondering if the same artist is responsible for this guy, only a few blocks away. I've been looking at the wall pieces a lot more closely over the past few days in preparation for writing this post, and I'm starting to see patterns.

And actually, this one might be by the same Miro guy, above.

I liked how this artist turned an ordinary seat/planter into something more interesting - there were a whole bunch of these lined up in a row, and each one was decorated with a series of whimsical fantasy animals.

And this is just wonderfully nutty:

Sexy lady turns into CREEPY EYEBALL SNAKE!!!

And a two-fer:

That stencil of the monk being pierced by arrows (a reference to Saint Sebastian?) appears all over this neighborhood, so the artist must have felt pretty strongly about it. There are a lot of repeat stencils around here, and it's kind of a scavenger hunt finding them all.

And more Seussical nonsense:

Fun, fun, fun.

And a little detour into something a bit more naturalistic:

I suspect that this might have been "legal" street art, because of the way it so completely covers the metal door. Actually, I suspect this for a lot of the closed shops that I've seen over the past few days with fabulous street art on their shutters - it seems that the graffiti medium has seeped into and merged with sponsored advertising. Guess I shouldn't be too surprised, because the same thing is happening all over the world.

And with all that, is it surprising that the Master decided to visit and leave some of his work in this city?

I know I posted the Banksy last week, but I thought it would be worth mentioning again. This city has something of an anarchic character, and the work of its street artists plays a part in that daily rhythm.

Not sure if I've changed any minds with this post, but I know Charlie will be happy at least! He's been bugging me to post some street art. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey:-), I am really impressed very much after seeing art in napoli. It looks like an interesting place for visiting. Certainly, I will make some plan there. Thanks!
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