Ornella Falco, Cynthia Penna, Naples, 2017.
Softcover, 99 pp., color illustrations, 11 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches.
The National Archaeological Museum of Naples has had close bonds with the art world of California for many years. It began with the relationship with Jean Paul Getty, who opened his second museum on his property in Malibu in California in 1974, with the intention of recreating the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. The original works that inspired the Getty Villa are exhibited here, in our museum.
There are a lot of aspects which make California in general, and Los Angeles in particular, closer to our region than one may at first suppose: above all in cultural and climatic terms. Both the region along the Pacific and the city under the Vesuvius close bonds with Spain. They both live with telluric phenomena (faults and volcanoes), in a land rich in contradictions (ocean, forests, snow-capped mountains, deserts). They are both sunny regions blessed with fertile soil (which among other things produces extraordinary wines), with creativity (from Getty to Hollywood, from Disneyland to the many actors who were born or live there), technological innovation (from Silicon Valley with Hewlett-Packard which also has tied to Herculaneum and with Apple, which recently established itself in Naples). And they both vaunt an intense social debate, closely linked to philosophical choices, witnessed by the strong opposition to the Vietnam war or Apartheid.