A new program conceived of by ART 1307 recently brought another Los Angeles artist, Todd Williamson to Naples. This time, not only to show his works, but to live, study and work here for a period of time, producing a body of work inspired by, conceived of and carried out in Naples.
The first artist to complete ART 1307′s new month long Artist in Residence program, Todd’s work and the work of future artists who embark on this program will be donated to the city in which they were created. Each artist leaving behind his or her impressions of the city through their work, each taking away a piece of the city in their hearts and in their minds.
Eventually, these works will be auctioned off to generate the funds needed to usher a new group of artists through the program. Artists not just from the US, but from all over the world. Another initiative by Naples ART 1307, it seeks to create an international exchange program among artists and between artists and patrons.
Arriving here last month, Todd went quickly to work on his pieces. Painting out of a small studio in Posillipo overlooking the bay, his view couldn’t have been anymore inspiring. But having spent time in Naples on several occasions since the mid 1990s, Todd arrived here already inspired.
In fact, some of the fundamental elements that characterize Naples, its light, color and chaos are the core elements that define Todd’s work.
The light in Naples is vibrant and strong. It is clear and pure and works perfectly with an artists eye.
The colors that are a part of Naples are bright and vibrant. They are the colors of life living at the edge and fully living an experience.
Chaos. What can I say. Naples is a city of chaos and yet it manages to contain the chaos like I contain the chaos in my work.
Todd achieves that containment or control of chaos through the use of horizontal lines which he explains:
…act similarly to staffs on a page of music holding each note in place and giving it structure. In this respect, my work can be read like sheet music giving you a small glimpse of whom I am.
In fact, there is a musicality to most of Todd’s works, many of which he titles like one would title a song.
Always seeking to evolve, Todd’s recent experimentation with vertical lines was used in two of the paintings he did while in Naples.
Todd also debuted one of his newest endeavors, the “sculpture box,” when he presented his works at an all day conference and lecture at PAN – Palazzo delle Arti on April 17th. Organized by ART 1307, it was sponsored by Comune di Napoli and the U.S. Consulate General in Naples.
Throughout its several thousand year history, Naples has both produced and been the muse for artists of all types – painters, sculptors, photographers, writers, musicians, actors, and more. Totò was born here in Naples Rione Sanità, Virgil wrote the Georgics and Aeneid here, drawing inspiration from the same view Todd had from his studio in Posillipo, and Caravaggio, one of Todd’s biggest inspirations, painted his Seven Work’s of Mercy here.
With such a long and vast history of art, it seems only fitting that a new generation of artists should find their inspiration here in Naples.
Todd summed it up best saying, (history) “is the master teacher and Naples is a master class.”