Kaf in Naples. (Photo by C-M.)
- A coat of many Kermits.
- James Rosenquist loses his studio to a devastating fire. (@artnetdotcom.)
- Guy suing L.A.’s MOCA over Murakami handbag art gets one of his cases tossed out of court.
- An awesome, awesome, awesome photo essay on motels by Magnum photographers.
- El Schnabel seeks renters at Palazzo Chupi — only $40,000 to $50,000 per month. A bargain…if you’re Damien Hirst. (@theartmarket.)
- Con Artist, a new doc about Mark Kostabi.
- Turner Prize nominees announced. And Bloomberg signals this as a return to the “visual” arts. More at the Times of London and the Guardian.
- LACMA picks up a gigantor painting by Roberto Matta. Cool!
- The art industrial average is plunging. Layoffs hit Aperture and the Getty. More here. Plus: Isabella Stewart Gardner museum lays off staff as it pursues a Renzo Piano-designed expansion. (AFC.)
- God told me to give you the finger.
- A list of artsy fartsies on Twitter. I’m one of the fartsies. (@hragv.)
- A belated R.I.P. for Bea Arthur, dirty public reading edition. (Mercy, Mlle. Connasse.)
- Suburban Slovakia. (Coudal.)
- And the award for most creative use of tape in a music video goes to… (Grazie, Least Wanted.)
- I want, I need, I have to have…a cryptozoological play set. Seriously.
- Four arrested during NYC’s billboard takeover this past weekend.
- Today’s Street Art: TitiFreak in Osaka.
- The Day in Graff Merch: Augor spraypaint and Cope2 vinyl skins for your iPod and computer.
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity temple named one of the most endangered places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. L.A.’s Century Plaza Hotel in Century City also makes the list. See the rest of the list here.
- Your moment of Ocean’s Eleven, Muppet style.
Pan and the Goat: The Romans had remarkable taste in garden statuary, such as this 24″ high marble depiction of Pan getting frisky with a member of the genus Capra at the National Archaeological Museum. (Photos by San Suzie.)
Despite warnings in every Italian guidebook that we would be pick-pocketed, run over by a motorino, threatened by camorristi, or just plain hosed by restaurant owners and taxi drivers, last weekend we decided to go to Naples to pay homage to the birthplace of the pizza and the baba au rum. A 2,800 year-old seaport founded by the Greeks, conquered by the Romans, Spaniards and Bourbons (the Neapolitans are quick to tell you that they are a thousand years older than Rome), Naples is the veritable promised land of high and low culture. It’s a place where you can see two of the greatest Caravaggio masterpieces (1 and 2) within a stone’s throw of graffiti-covered baroque buildings whose stucco is literally falling to the ground.
Our plan was to grab a few of the sublime slices at the nearly 300-year-old Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba and then head over to the archaeological museum to ogle the Roman pornographic art — contained in a titillatingly hilarious permanent display known as the Secret Cabinet. (Boy, did we get an eyeful!) In addition to admiring all the ancient erections, there were plenty of other things to take in during our visit to Naples as well: the glittering Mediterranean, the medieval castles (complete with round turrets and crenelated tops), the volcano that destroyed Pompeii and the hundreds of cioccolato caldo stands where you can stuff your face with sfogliatelle, ricotta cheesecake, and mini-babas for about $2.
In Naples, you can not only see the life-sized bust that houses the actual lopped-off head of San Gennaro (a.k.a. Saint Januarius) at the Duomo, but also admire a vial of his blood that miraculously liquifies at various times of the year. All this in a city where motorino drivers, piled three to a bike, drive so unnervingly fast, you are encouraged to look both ways even when crossing the sidewalk — or face a martyrdom of your own.
Click on images to supersize. More after the jump.