NAPLES, ITALY BY VINCENZO DEL VECCHIO:
Every city has its clichés. They aren’t necessarily bad but simply oft-promised experiences of culture. A sojourn to Naples – usually a stopover while en route to elsewhere – involves pizza and pickpockets, one might think. Illustrator Vincenzo DelVecchio reconfigures our imaginations with his intricate window portrait; A bustling, complicated Napoli, one rich in character.
“I am not from Naples but from the age of 10, I’ve been adopted by this city. It’s my house. Its rhythm – crazy and messy – is my rhythm,” Del Vecchio says.
Describing Naples as “seductive” and “sacred”, the architect- come-artist recalls the complex and polluted city’s “alleys, chaosand noise” as his first memory. His illustration is intricate and complicated and inspired by a mythological mermaid namedPartenope.
“The ambivalence of the mermaid – woman yet animal – evokes the sacred and profane side of a mythological figure that, likeNaples, seduces and deceives,” Del Vecchio explains. “My style is strongly influenced by my background as an architect; the skill of transferring 3D reality onto a bi-dimensional piece of paper. It’s a method that creates perspectival illusions.”
In Naples, the past is everywhere. “I remember my first day at University. A young barman brought a coffee to a priest in Pio Montedella Misericordia Church in the centre of Naples,” recalls Del Vecchio. “Above their heads hung The Seven Acts Of Mercy painting by Caravaggio. It was an everyday moment lived with calmness, without giving any weight to such an important work – a piece of artI could have admired only in books.”
If you find yourself with 24 hours to see Naples, Del Vecchio suggests starting your day with a nice coffee and a walk through thecity’s historical centre, along its tight alleys. “Listen for the voices of its inhabitants,” he says.
For lunch, even the artist suggests pizza. (Neapolitan tradition says pizzas should have more sauce than cheese). And Aperitivo hour is best experienced with a view – try Castel Sant’elmo, a medieval fortress located on Vomero Hill which overlooks the city.
Follow Vincenzo Del Vecchio @videlart_illustration
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