Loreta's paintings

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Naples Light and Dark

Naples, Italy
oil on canvas
48” x 30”

  • Dark, narrow streets
  • Canopy of laundry drying in the breeze
  • Graffiti on every possible surface

Naples is an enigma, a place that stirs quick emotions. Its Old Town is a tangled web of tiny, narrow streets and alley ways. Look up: you see laundry hanging from most balconies. Look down: watch your where you step, there is uneven or broken pavement instead of sidewalks. Look around: the vertical landscape is covered with graffiti. Every available space is a canvas for expression in words and illustrations. Stop, listen: loud voices and vespa motors echo up to the highest floors of the congested living quarters. It is the good, the bad and the ugly of all cities.

The wealthy and the poor live amongst the ruins. The outer appearance of the structures lack colour without suggestions of what may be behind the closed doors.

This is a birthplace of organized crime. The ever-present Comarra is a dark shadow over the city. Crime, drug trafficking, corruption, neglect – there is a dreary undertone. Yet there is a bright side – laughter, love of family and great food.

Naples, once one of the grandest medieval cities, has many layers of modern patchwork, the crumbling foundation occasionally peeking through. One of the foremost Mediterranean port cities, with its perfect ruined beauty, slightly menacing Naples is haunting, fascinating and draws you in.