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Street Art

Let’s Listen to the Sound of Milan (City’s Voices, Alberto Garutti)

Milan (Italy). There are some afternoons during the weekend, in which I really love (well more then love, it’s a sort of need) to take one of my cameras, leave home and walk around randomly, without a specific destination or assignment. When I was living in Istanbul, I remember I used to go very frequently to Uskudar to take photos of people, landscapes, situations: it was a great way to fight against the stress accumulated during the week and relax a bit.

Being now in Milan, one of my favorite “walk around” areas here is the new site at Porta Nuova, with the UniCredit Tower and some other modern buildings such as the Bosco Verticale. The situation here is of course completely different from the one I was dealing with in Istanbul. In fact, photographing around Uskudar was mainly based on trying to capture the unique mix given by interesting people, a breathtaking landscape, and – sometimes – peculiar situations (to give an example: this is one of my favorite photos ever, taken on the Bosphorus seaside close to the Kiz Kulesi). Photographing around Porta Nuova and Piazza Gae Aulenti in Milan is a totally different situation, and when I’m there walking around, my attention is mostly captured by the architecture, and how it can influence the behavior of people spending their time there (many people gather here for a walk).

The photo posted here is an example: it’s an interesting artwork by Alberto Garutti. Several pipes – 23, to be exact, and they look like trumpets – connecting different floors of the building, and used by people to listen to the sounds from underground. The name is “City’s Voices”, and people show to appreciate them putting their ear to listen to the soft noise coming from the other floors (as said, “underground”).

I photographed this artwork using a Leica Q camera with its wonderful 28 mm Summilux lens: the perfect angle for situations like this one (in my opinion).

 

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Reframe by Ai Weiwei at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

Florence (Italy). Last weekend I was walking around the downtown of Florence, when I saw this interesting installation made by the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It’s a serie of 22 rubber boats positioned in correspondence to Palazzo Strozzi’s windows, on its façade. The installation’s title is “Reframe – Nuova Cornice” (new frame). In these years the same type of boats have been used by refugees which, escaping misery and looking for a better life, cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Italy – in Europe, to be more precise. For this reason, I considered it appropriate including in the composition an European flag, a traffic sign indicating “no access” (which is more or less what Europe answers to their request) and the shopping window of the luxury brand Louis Vuitton…


Firenze. Lo scorso fine settimana, passeggiando per il centro di Firenze, ho visto questa interessante installazione dell’artista contemporaneo cinese Ai Weiwei. Si tratta di una serie di gommoni, montati sulla facciata di Palazzo Strozzi, in corrispondenza delle sue finestre. Il nome dell’installazione è “Reframe – Nuova Cornice”. Si tratta degli stessi gommoni utilizzati dai profughi per attraversare il Mar Mediterraneo ed arrivare in Italia – o meglio in Europa – e scappare dalla loro miseria alla ricerca di una vita migliore. Per questo motivo, ho ritenuto appropriato includere nella composizione della mia foto sia una bandiera europea, che un cartello di divieto di accesso, che la vetrina di Louis Vuitton…

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El Pibe de Oro (Maradona’s Murales). Quartieri Spagnoli, Napoli

Naples (Italy). I believe that few cities have with a specific person the same relationship that Naples has with Diego Armando Maradona, also known with the name “El Pibe de Oro”. Walking up and down around the so called “Quartieri Spagnoli” and talking with people sitting along the streets, it’s easy to understand how here in Naples, soccer is not only a sport or a passion, but rather it’s an instrument for a sort of “social redemption”.

In this sense, Naples-the-city perfectly corresponds with the Naples-soccer-team, and it’s especially for this reason that the memory for a player becomes the memory of an entire collectivity. A memory still well alive today, that keeps itself strong and proud in the course of the time, also thanks to expression of fondness and devotion such as this one photographed here: an impressive murales, realised in 1990, which covers the entire facade of a six-storeys building in Via Emanuele de Deo, and that has been recently renovated to bring it back to its original beauty.

It’s something worth watching at length, to be somehow contemplated, possibly contextualising it with the place where it is and with the people living there. The result is a truly unique cross section, in some ways touching, and for sure representative of a city – Naples – which has made of its passion for Diego Armando Maradona one of the hallmarks of its DNA.


Napoli. Credo che poche città abbiano con una determinata persona lo stesso rapporto che ha Napoli con Diego Armando Maradona, conosciuto anche come “El Pibe de Oro”. Camminando per i Quartieri Spagnoli e parlando con le persone sedute per strada, si capisce subito come a Napoli il calcio non sia solo uno sport o una passione, ma piuttosto sia uno strumento di riscatto sociale.

In questo senso, la Napoli città coincide perfettamente con la Napoli del calcio, ed è soprattutto per questo motivo che la memoria per un giocatore diventa memoria di un’intera collettività. Una memoria ancora oggi ben viva, che si mantiene forte ed orgogliosa nel tempo grazie anche a forme di affetto e di devozione come questa fotografata qui: un murales imponente, realizzato nel 1990, che si estende tutto lungo la parete di sei piani di una casa in Via Emanuele de Deo e che è stato recentemente restaurato per farlo tornare al suo splendore originale.

E’ un qualcosa da guardare a lungo, quasi da contemplare, possibilmente contestualizzandolo con il luogo in cui si trova e con le persone che quel luogo lo vivono. Ne viene fuori uno spaccato davvero unico, per certi versi emozionante, e sicuramente rappresentativo di una città – Napoli – che ha fatto della passione per Diego Armando Maradona uno dei tratti distintivi del suo DNA.

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Reframe by Ai Weiwei at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (Via Della Spada)

Florence (Italy). Last weekend I was walking around the downtown of Florence, when I saw this interesting installation made by the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It’s a serie of 22 rubber boats positioned in correspondence to Palazzo Strozzi’s windows, on its façade. The installation’s title is “Reframe – Nuova Cornice” (new frame). In these years the same type of boats have been used by refugees which, escaping misery and looking for a better life, cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Italy.


Firenze. Lo scorso fine settimana, passeggiando per il centro di Firenze, ho visto questa interessante installazione dell’artista contemporaneo cinese Ai Weiwei. Si tratta di una serie di gommoni, montati sulla facciata di Palazzo Strozzi, in corrispondenza delle sue finestre. Il nome dell’installazione è “Reframe – Nuova Cornice”. Si tratta degli stessi gommoni utilizzati dai profughi per attraversare il Mar Mediterraneo ed arrivare in Italia per scappare dalla loro miseria alla ricerca di una vita migliore.

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Heavy Clouds Always Break Up. Street Art by Beast

Milan (Italy). If you are in Milan in these days (by the way, there will be the fashion week soon!) and you walk around the popular area around Corso Garibaldi, you will probably notice the fantastic masterpiece by the Italian artist Beast. The title is “Heavy Clouds Always Break Up” and it shows a long boat with some politicians on board. It’s easy to recognise Matteo Renzi, Angela Merkel, David Cameron (three Prime Ministers) and the so called “eurosceptic” Matteo Salvini: they are all on the same boat trying to cross a river in a stormy context. A true metaphor of these contemporary times inspired by the painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

I love this example of Street Art, I think it’s a great form of expression, accessible to everybody (those passing from here on their way to the office, or coming for a night walk, easily stop in front of Beast’s work and take some photos) and it seems that people are quite enthusiastically following the appearance of such works on Corso Garibaldi’s wall.

I tried to photograph Beast’s new work without people and without distortions, so that you can appreciate much more its details. If you want to see it live, copy and paste these coordinates in google maps 45.479095, 9.185913

 

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Human Stupidity (Mural in the Medina of Marrakesh)

Marrakesh (Morocco).

Human Stupidity Has Limits

This is what this mural says. I found it one day I was walking and photographing around the Medina of Marrakesh, one of the most inspiring places I have ever seen in my life (and I visited it twice – quite unusual for me).

Photographing this nice example of street art, it came to my mind the popular quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein:

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.

It’s of course very ironic, but sometimes I think it’s not so distant from reality – especially when I watch the world and think about the way things are going on… Sorry for being a bit pessimist, but these are tough days – and I don’t think I need to explain why. However, I will try to use the sentence written on this wall to build a bit of confidence in the future: perhaps, even Albert Einstein had been wrong at least once in his life.

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