Alice Pasquini's street art in Salerno: poetry and culture

by Echo of the Sirens

In 2014, a project called "Author's walls" which has affected a large part of the historic center. Street art works have invaded alleys and squares. One of the most beautiful murals bears the signature of Alice Pasquini and decorates the so-called Scala dei Mutilati in via Velia. The initiative was born to pay homage to the local poet Alfonso Gatto and was supported by the Foundation dedicated to him. But let's see what it is.

Who was Alfonso Gatto?

Alfonso Gatto rappresentato nel murales di Alice Pasquini
Alfonso Gatto in Alice Pasquini's mural

Poet, writer, journalist and character in view of the Milanese circles, Alfonso Gatto was born in Salerno in 1909. He will leave his beloved city very young to escape to Milan with his wife, Agnese Jole Turco. Arrested for anti-fascism, he became a writer of the Resistance and a hermetic poet. His works are characterized by an essential and allusive language. In them we often read of his native land, with nostalgic notes dedicated to the places of his childhood.

Author walls: art and poetry invade the streets

Alfonso Gatto was born in the heart of Salerno, in a neighborhood known as Rione Fornelle. It is a popular neighborhood in which the tourist hardly enters and which during the Christmas period is not included in the project "Artist lights". In 2014 the project was started by the poet Valerio Forte and the artist Greenpino. The aim was to give the children and young people of the neighborhood the poetry of an artist who is too often forgotten by his own fellow villagers. But why limit yourself to writing? The walls of a shabby neighborhood become the pages of a book where images and words come together in a lively and stimulating whole. Many artists are invited to give the district an additional tourist attraction.

La street art di Alice Pasquini a Salerno: poesia e cultura

The project was presented to the Alfonso Gatto Cultural Foundation, directed by the poet's nephew who immediately supported it. Some murals have also been made in Via S. Bonosio, where the Foundation was located until a few years ago.

The collaboration between Greenpino and Alice Pasquini

Pino Roscigno is the real name of Greenpino, an artist from Salerno who is extremely attached to his territory and culture. The idea starts with him and it is always he who comes out of the neighborhood limits. In addition to Via S. Bonosio, it was decided to decorate the staircase of the Mutilati in Via Velia. Greenpino turns to Alice Pasquini, a well-known name on the international art scene.

The Roman artist is also a set designer and illustrator. His works are dedicated to the woman and the vitality of her figure and this mural is no exception: it also supports women with children and the theme of play. Greenpino, on the other hand, devotes himself to words. He arranges Alfonso Gatto's poems along the steps and on the walls, alternating them with Alice's characters. Among these, the poet also appears in the background of a city, perhaps the one that welcomed him or perhaps the one he misses.

Poesie tratte dal murales di Greenpino e Alice Pasquini
Poems taken from the mural by Greenpino and Alice Pasquini

Art and poetry merge with the inhabited center, adapt to it and its structures, soften and enliven them. All that remains is to enjoy them live.

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