twelve o’clock, May 26, 2021 – 09:02
The street-artist from Campania on social media writes: “Mo ‘pozzo pure murì (now I can even die)”
of Roberto Russo
On page 420 of Contemporary history for the upper fifth (Loescher / G.D’Anna Zanichelli), an entire paragraph is dedicated to the street-artist Ciro Cerullo, 31, born in Quarto to a Dutch mother, universally known as Jorit. In practice, the dream of all artists: to end up in school books while alive, in this specific case together with colleagues of the caliber of Banksy and Blu. To the point that the muralist himself, on social media, lets himself go to the classic “mo ‘pozzo as well murì “. In the chapter on street art he is credited with having contributed to the revaluation of degraded areas, in particular “the emblematic case” of San Giovanni a Teduccio where, from the height of its 15 meters, Maradona, painted on one of the two buildings of the so-called Bronx, he stares at the viewer with a gaze of such intensity as to cause chills. Next to him the face of an autistic boy named Niccolò. One of the objectively most dangerous places in the city of Naples, for four years it has been a destination for visitors, most of them tourists, willing, even for a few minutes, to go to an area that is certainly not comfortable in the city.
Jorit enters the art history books
On the world stage
Jorit is no longer a surprise. He has established himself on the world scene as one of the best known and most sought after figurative / graffiti artists. An artist who makes political militancy his heart, the very essence of his own creative gesture with the spray. A long time ago we would have called him “committed” or “leftist”. They are always dedicated to heroes who have fought to the extreme consequences for civil rights or to political leaders, his gigantic works. Or even to the innocent victims of abuse of authority (Stefano Cucchi), or to the dead at work (Luana D’Orazio). All with the signs of flaying on the cheeks, a symbol that unites the “human tribe”. Jorit started adding them to faces eight years ago after one of his many trips to Africa. On his face (which we have only known for just over two years, when he decided to come out by taking off the balaclava he was painting with) he really let himself be stripped “by a professional”. And he explains: “You may or may not like those signs, but it’s a very personal thing, so precious to me that sometimes I forget I have them.”
Works in dozens of countries
On the buildings of Buenos Aires, Aruba (Caribbean), Cochabamba (Bolivia), Santiago de Chile, Shenzen (China), or on the wall that divides Palestinians and Israelis near Bethlehem; on those in New York or Miami, or in Onitsovo near Moscow (Yuri Gagarin). Dozens of countries, hundreds of works. In short, a process of planetary “joritization” is underway which is almost a head to head with the “banksization” of cities. But jorictization is a trend that at times could even disturb from the urban point of view, if the genius of Quarto were to continue along the creative trend of the maxi-works and if his artistic fortune (as we wish him) will continue. «My name is Jorit and I paint», he describes himself impassively. The other, inevitable side of success is the often politically oriented criticism of those who accuse him of being “a regime artist” because he accepts orders from public bodies. In this regard, some disturbing episode also happened: on 9 May, while he was painting, he was attacked by a man with a knife and a large dog. There is no shortage of those (few, in truth) who contest the seriality of the representations: but would they also have made the same accusation against Andy Warhol?
May 26, 2021 | 09:02
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