Love has always been a source of inspiration for artists of all ages, who have declined it in the most diverse stylistic figures.
The LOVE MUSEUM hosts different works in each of its stages, depending on the location, the city and the exhibition path.
Here are the protagonists of the exhibition at Palazzo Fondi.
ROMERO BRITTO was born in Recife, Brazil, on October 6, 1963. After moving to Miami, he began his artistic journey as a self-taught artist by working alongside street artists and taking inspiration from their forms and techniques, making works on recycled materials such as newspaper clippings and pieces of cardboard.
Encounters in Paris with the works of masters such as Matisse and Picasso allow the young Britto to personalize his technique, which the New York Times calls a source of warmth, optimism and love. In fact, his works are characterized by the refinement of colors and positive vibrations that, when combined, create bold and imaginative patterns.
MARCO LODOLA was born in 1955 and is considered one of the founders of the artistic current that goes by the name of New Futurism, a continuation of the Futurism movement developed in the early Twentieth century. He’s an artist recognized worldwide not only for his unmistakable style, but also for his subjects, which are also identifiable and attributable to him.
He treats subjects ranging from famous couples in love – often dancers or portraits aboard a Vespa – to circus and music figures. However, the subjects chosen always refer to the world of mass media, advertising, music and their icons.
DANIELE FORTUNA was born in Milan in 1981 and since his teenage years has shown a great interest in art by frequenting galleries, studying at the European Institute of Design and then moving to Ireland, near Dublin, where his interest in wood and the technique of carving was born. Back in Italy, his art took shape in his first works. At first paintings formed from pieces of wood shaped, colored and assembled like puzzle parts and then with three-dimensional compositions ranging from subjects from the animal world to the icons of Greco-Roman classicism combined with colors and features of Contemporary Pop.
UGO NESPOLO, born in 1941, was born in Italy, where he studied both fine arts and modern literature. In the 1960s he moved to New York where he was fully fascinated by pop art, which he mixed with the European avant-garde, developing his personal poetics that owed much to the Futurist movement. With Mario Schifani he founded the artists’ cinema, working with Baj, Fontana and Pistoletto.
His artistic language ranges from Applied Art to graphics to theater, seeking different artistic solutions, using multiple materials such as wood, fabric or glass.
ANDY WARHOL (1928 – 1987), Czechoslovakian by origin but American by adoption, a multifaceted and brilliant artist – perhaps among the best-known exponents of contemporary art – is widely regarded as the father of Pop Art. For him, art must be democratic and mass-market; therefore, it must be replicable like any other industrial project.
The artist’s most famous works are the colorful, mass-produced replicas of famous people of the time, with whom he shared crazy parties and evenings at Studio 54 or whom he portrayed in his studio, the Factory in New York. On display is the icon of beauty and glamour who made history: Marilyn Monroe.
BANKSY is the nickname of one of the world’s leading exponents of street art. Nothing is known for sure about his identity, but his first works appeared in Bristol, England. He mainly uses the stencil technique, which involves reproducing the same design in series, thanks to a cardboard model that is placed on a surface and used as a mold for the work, which is then made with spray paint.
His graffiti is permeated with an edgy irony and gives an interesting and original point of view on issues concerning politics, ethics and culture. Without neglecting Love. He loves Naples so much that he has left as a gift to the city a wonderful “Madonna with a Gun” in Piazza Gerolomini.
THE HEART ROOM
“Love is that thing that makes the journey worthwhile.” (Franklin P.Jones)
The term love is derived from the Latin amor – amoris – that desire which attracts one to another person, which runs through the heart and embraces the body in its entirety.
The etymology of the word love goes back to the Sanskrit kama meaning desire, passion and physical attraction, just as the verb to love goes back to the Indo-European root ka from which (c)amare means to desire in a visceral way, in an integral and total way.
Another etymological interpretation traces the term back to the Greek verb mao – I desire – to indicate an outward, visceral and almost animalistic attraction to be distinguished from a mental, rational and spiritual attraction.
The last etymological and most romanticized interpretation is from the Latin a-mors, meaning without death, emphasizing a powerful and intense feeling that lasts forever.
Love is thus the quintessential sentiment, which comes in a thousand ways: for the person with whom one shares a lifetime, for an overwhelming but fleeting passion, for one’s family members, for friends, for the beauty of nature, for food, for oneself.
The LOVE MUSEUM is the manifesto of universal Love. Because each of us, at least once in our lives, walks through a tunnel of hearts….
“They may cut all the flowers, but they cannot stop the spring.” (Pablo Neruda)
Love is born, grows and blossoms in all its beauty, smelling of good, of flowers, of spring. And even when life holds dark times, a new Love will come to save us.
Just as it happens in the cycle of the seasons where the cold winter always gives way to a wonderful new spring capable of warming the heart.
THE MISTERY ROOM
“Love is a secret between two hearts, a mystery between two souls.” (Henri-Frèdèric Amiel)
Secret love is the most beautiful, the strongest, the most passionate, the most romantic, the purest. If we are not friends, are we lovers or are we in love? It is a secret!
The room is inspired by the hellish atmosphere of the Divine Comedy, where in Canto V – which remains the most iconic of Dante’s entire work – the act of betrayal by Paolo and Francesca is elevated to pure and sincere love. Dante meets the two souls in the circle of the lustful, dragged by the storm, but locked in an eternal embrace never to leave each other.
It is Francesca who takes the floor and explains their story to Dante. She was forced to marry a crude man of brutish ways, Gianciotto Malatesta, never imagining that she could fall madly in love with her brother, Paolo. Love is sealed by the first kiss exchanged while reading the story of passion between Lancelot and Guinevere; Gianciotto, having discovered the two lovers, brutally kills them.
The sincerest love, however, according to Dante, is precisely courtly love, guided by pure feelings, so high that they seem divine. That is why he is breathless when he sees God punishing souls whose only sin was loving from the bottom of their hearts and not submitting to human and divine law.
THE LIGHTS ROOM
“When you get up in the morning, remember what a privilege it is to be alive: to breathe, to think, to feel joy and to love.” (Marcus Aurelius)
Love is light, it is Good Vibes, it’s the ability to remain positive in every moment, learning with feelings to distinguish truth from lies.
The Incan had a complex view of love, which goes beyond a relationship with another person. For shamans, love is not just an emotion; it is a force. It is what the flower feels for the morning dew, the jaguar for the deer it hunts to feed its young; it is the rainbow after the rain. Love is the force that can help us discern truth among lies; it is the power of the Primordial Light, which is conscious, intelligent and wise.
From that perspective, Love is a language, whose alphabet is absolute truth, which almost always enables it to catch the lie, and its purpose is to find and spread this truth in the world. And absolute truth that which can be known but not spoken. The moment that it is spoken out loud that kind of truth loses its truthfulness: it is nothing but a semblance of truth, a shadow of absolute truth… Our task is to find it and experience it personally, cherishing it in our hearts and thus becoming stronger.
THE UNIVERSE ROOM
“I wonder,” he said, “if the stars are illuminated so that each person may one day find his own.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupèry)
According to the ancient sages, Love is not just a feeling: it is the only force in the universe, and creation, in its totality, comes from Love.
All men, whether good or bad, virtuous or sinful, saint or damned, are captivated by this abstract concept, and each one in the face of this word reacts in his or her own way: with selfishness, with altruism, with mystical impulse; in short, with all the possible nuances that the human soul possesses.
Giordano Bruno was accused by the holy inquisition for his bold statement in which he declared that the universe is not governed by a God seated on a throne in the highest heaven, but by the power of Love that permeates everything and being. And we might well say that he was right. Otherwise, with such wide diversity permeating today’s society, it would not explain how humankind keeps going. If there were not the absolute Love that tolerates everything and heals souls, for thousands of years perhaps humans would have already become extinct.
THE CANDY ROOM
“No love is more sincere than the love of food.” (George Bernard Shaw)
Food is one of life’s greatest joys, especially when it’s shared with those you love. Because it is scientifically proven that human beings feed on solid food, but also on air introduced with breath and emotions. And without realizing it, the relationship with food accompanies our relationship with life and Love more than we can realize.
What happens when we are in love? Our body produces phenylethylamine and norepinephrine, natural stimulants that make us euphoric, charged, so full of life that we already feel full and fulfilled. Hence the loss of the sense of hunger that returns when one is fulfilled and serene, in a stable relationship with a loved one; in fact, it is not uncommon for married couples to tend to gain weight.
At any time in the relationship, however, sweets come first. Lack of affection can be curbed with sweets – perhaps by sharing them with sincere friends – just as an important bond is sealed with a dessert, for important occasions. Hence the choice of a colorful Candyland where to take lots of… sugary photos!
THE CLOUD ROOM
“If I could open the clouds as one opens a drawer, who knows what I would find inside: love letters written by angels or secret alphabets or perhaps the dreams of the wind.” (Fabrizio Caramagna)
Love goes beyond the earthly dimension; it is immaterial. It touches our existences like a light breeze that leaves inside impalpable and indescribable, yet overwhelming sensations. If words struggle to express the feeling, the perception is that of floating and immersing oneself in a pool full of soft and welcoming clouds. One’s safe place in the world, colored by the pink rays of the setting sun.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” (Lao Tzu)
Love is often paired with the image of the butterfly and the seesaw. It is said, when one is in the stage of falling in love, to feel “butterflies in the stomach,” just as life is said to be a swinging seesaw between feelings. We wanted to combine it all into one scenario where we reveal the secret of true Love.
Indeed, the swing is so fun at first. The fun is in the pleasure of intoxicatedly twirling in the air, back and forth, moving away and closer to the one pushing us. While the one who is pushing takes pleasure in entertaining the other person, pushing him farther and farther away to eagerly await the moment when he will come closer again, so that he can give one more push.
But the game must last the right amount of time for both of them or the relationship, made up of taking and leaving, will wear out, leaving a still, boring and ultimately empty swing. Only then the individual will understand how to be able to swing on his or her own, pushing the inner swing independently, transforming from a caterpillar into a butterfly and attracting at that point the right person, with whom the swing will really become a game of complicity, joy and fun; a planning that can launch self-esteem to the point where it touches the sky.
THE SEA ROOM
“You can never understand the sea, but by sailing you will come to understand your heart!” (Michele Gentile)
Since time immemorial, the sea has been the setting of early adolescent love affairs, fleeting relationships, and troubled loves, likened to stormy waves.
From Greek mythology to the literature of all times, the sea has been a protagonist, a backdrop or a metaphor in the most intricate stories. Ulysses abandoned his Penelope to wander the world, losing himself in the waves and the arms of many women before returning home; Leopardi in his most famous poem – “The Infinite” – declares how sweet it is to shipwreck in this sea, going beyond fear and his imagination, dreaming of a new life and his beloved.
The pool in which to dive, reminiscent precisely of the colors of the sea, is the heart of the Love Museum, to free oneself from all burdens, launch oneself of feelings and feel free to love and be loved.
THE SELF LOVE ROOM
Self-love means not only taking care of yourself every day, but it is the first step, an essential starting point, for opening up to other people.
Learning to love ourselves is a path of personal growth that allows us to accept everything about us: every nuance, including limitations and frailties, with respect and compassion. It represents a choice of action, a way of relating to ourselves.
To forgive our mistakes, to soothe wounds, to train ourselves in mindfulness, which is, the awareness of bringing out images, feelings or thoughts by striving to mute the instinctive and immediate judgment we have about ourselves.
To breathe deeply again and see our smiling face reflected in the mirror….
THE FRIENDSHIP ROOM
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you haven’t really learned anything.” (Muhammad Ali)
Friendship is perhaps the sincerest form of Love, driven by no physical, instinctive drive, but only by the desire to share time together.
We meet a person, talk to them, get to know them, not knowing that they will shortly assume an indispensable role in all our days. The great thing is that we get to know someone and realize right away that they have something special or consider them insufferable and then reevaluate them and laugh about it.
In friendship we choose each other, every day, despite the fact that life may hold different choices, goals, desires. Unlike love relationships, those between friends weather storms, distances and differences. Because true friends know how to listen and support, with no judgment.