“There is a line that connects Naples and New York, that line which on the Atlas indicates the latitude, but much beyond this geographical position, this liaison imaginary, exists a thread of a close similitude … A city which lives day-to-day a fragmentary tumultuous life, non-stop twenty-four hours always approaching the Apocalypse and yet reviving itself everyday by an obscure force that knows no rule … (Andy Warhol)”
It is our favourite quote of Andy Warhol, leading artist in the visual art movement known as Pop Art. Here is a selection of his well-known artworks, realized during his stay in Napoli.
“I love Naples because it reminds me of New York , especially for the many transvestites and garbage on the street. How New York is a city that is falling apart, and people are happy in spite of everything. But there is also the best fish, the best pasta and the best wine. What else can I add ? ”
Andy Warhol had been in Napoli in 1975 for the first time: against the backdrop of Vesuvio he started his artistic adventure in Italy.
For the Pop Art’s father Vesuvio is “the force of the nature, much more than a myth, something terribly real”. After the assassination attempt suffered in 1968, Andy Warhol is attracted and terrified by catastrophes. His famous Neapolitan artwork is Vesuvius, a series of eighteen paintings which is a pop remake of Napoli’s icon.
Vesuvius has been presented in 1985 during Andy Warhol’s personal exhibition arranged by the Artistic Authority of Napoli. The painter repeats compulsively the Neapolitan icon using different colors. The mark is stylised and the colors are spread out in large spots.
Fate presto is the most famous and monumental headline artwork of Warhol.
The american artist re-elaborated the front page of Il Mattino published on November 23rd 1980, after the catastrophic earthquake that hit the South of Italy. Fate presto is an invocation to helping people who were under the ruins and to rebuild Irpinia, epicentre of the earthquake.
The triptych had a strong emotional impact on Italians, but Andy Warhol has not been pushed by a social sensitivity. He was conscious that people is involved by that kind of news, as gossip news as well.
Warhol’s headline artworks show how the artist was involved bu the news. He was attracted by the front page news, every kind of it from gossip to disasters.
Napoliroid is a well-known Andy Warhol’s artwork realized during his stay in Napoli. This photo series was made walking around the city by his Polaroid. It portrays scenes from everyday life: the tower on the beach in front of Giuseppone a Mare, a car in the traffic, people crossing the road to reach the Villa Comunale and a woman posing with him.