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Dodici volti nel volto. Christian Leperino

From Friday 7 May 2021, the Crypt of San Gennaro of the Cathedral of Naples will be open to the public, where it will be possible to visit the intervention of the artist Christian Leperino, curated by Alessandra Troncone, made on the occasion of the celebrations of the Patron Saint of the month of May. For the first time an artist presents his works on this site, giving life to a fascinating encounter between the sacred place and contemporary art.

In the lateral niches of the Crypt, located under the main apse of the Cathedral and a place that preserves the sacred relics of San Gennaro, Leperino presents the installation entitled Twelve faces in the face, composed of twelve plaster sculptures representing the portraits of as many men . The portraits were made starting from a laboratory that involved some inmates at the Poggioreale Prison in Naples, in an experience of self-knowledge through the exploration of their physical features and matter.

These casts were then reworked in search of an expressiveness that wants to evoke great artists and works of art of the past: the iconography of the Last Supper, but also the classical statuary and the nineteenth-century sculpture by Auguste Rodin and Medardo Rosso, as well as Caravaggio's dramatic chiaroscuro effects. These forays into the history of art are mixed with stories and tales of the present that have as protagonists the weakest and most marginalized in society, restoring an almost sacred dignity to these faces. The number of heads recalls that of the apostles, disciples of Christ and pillars on which the Church symbolically rests and architecturally the Cathedral of Naples itself. Twelve sculptures of faces whose gaze asks to meet the gaze of the city and to reconfigure a destiny still to be traced.

The installation is promoted by the Naples Cathedral and the Cathedral Chapter and has obtained the Matronage of the Donnaregina Foundation for Contemporary Arts. It will remain visible to the public for the entire period of the celebrations of the patron saint of Naples leading to the celebrations of 19 September.

The creation of the sculptures took place between February and July 2020 in the Poggioreale Prison in Naples, together with two groups of inmates involved in a training orientation path for the selection of a training course coordinated by prof. Maria D'Ambrosio with the 'embodied education' research group of the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples, part of a larger project wanted by the Diocese of Naples with its social and labor pastoral care and carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice - Cassa delle Ammende and the Regional Superintendency of the Penitentiary Administration of Campania, the “Giuseppe Salvia” - Poggioreale ”prison (Naples) and the Campania Region, and implemented by the Consul Service.

From 7 May 2021 to 19 September 2021

Place: Naples Cathedral - Crypt of San Gennaro

Official Site:

The Art of Contrasts
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