“Make it quick” by Andy Warhol: when the earth trembles and art asks for help

by Laura d'Avossa

“Make it quick” by Andy Warhol: when the earth trembles and art asks for help

"Be quick" by Andy Warhol: when the earth trembles and art asks for help

"Naples, like New York, is a city that is falling apart and despite everything, people are happy, like that of New York"

1975 is the year in which a bond that crosses the ocean begins, the one between Andy Warhol and the city of contradiction.
The American artist is hosted by his friend for three days Lucio Amelio, a well-known Neapolitan gallery owner who gives him the opportunity to come into contact with Neapolitan culture for the first time.
It is on this occasion that Warhol finds a surprising similarity between Naples and New York: both appear to him as "Two boilers, two energy boilers ready to explode".
And in fact Naples will explode only a few years later.

The night of the November 23, 1980 the earth trembles: a devastating one earthquake upsets the Campania region, causing collapses, injuries and deaths.
The news runs in the newspapers, spreads far away, reaches the other side of the world, where it shakes the feelings of an artist so attached to this land.
Lucio Amelio reaches the Factory, Andy Warhol's New York studio, bringing with it copies of many newspapers that have divulged the rumor of the catastrophe in the previous days. His goal is to create a collection of works of art in memory of the Neapolitan tragedy and immediately asks his colleague to participate in it.
So Warhorl peers through those black and white prints, between the bold exclamations and the thousand unusual attempts to emphasize what happened; find an expression on the first page of "The morning" used by the journalist Roberto Ciuni.
"Hurry up": a request for intervention, as essential as it is authentic, of a people living in a desperate emergency situation for buildings and people.
The American artist creates a gigantic triptych which shows the first page of “Il Mattino” also in white on white and black on black, to give greater emphasis to the brutality of the event. Once again Warhol shows himself capable of transforming everyday life into art and making it capable of spreading a message beyond any boundary.

"Be quick" by Andy Warhol: when the earth trembles and art asks for help

Complete triptych "Be soon" by Andy Warhol

The work is so successful that it becomes the manifesto of the entire collection of Lucio Amelio, which is then entitled "Terrae Motus": collection considered, as the gallery owner himself states, "A machine to create a continuous earthquake", therefore, an instrument capable of eternally upsetting the observer who, disturbed and at the same time disarmed, finds himself in the presence of an unpredictable tragedy.
On the other hand, this was the effect that earthquakes and others have always had "Blind and ungovernable catastrophes" they had in Warhol's soul. He was inexplicably tormented and fascinated by it, so much so that often they will return protagonists of his paintings ("Vesuvius" is among his best known works).

"Be quick" by Andy Warhol: when the earth trembles and art asks for help

“Vesuvius” by Andy Warhol

“Hurry up” today is exposed to Caserta, testimony of a tragedy and desperate request for help, but also a symbol of revenge. Because art never remains silent, but speaks, shouts, counter, responds to destruction with creation.
Because art is capable of responding to death always with the life.

Laura d'Avossa

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