Wednesday night, 24th February 2021, while I was making my daily’s portrait part of my ongoing series Disordinary Beauty, I thought about the day soon to come when I will become a father, the responsibilities I will have, especially in finding a balance between my passion for and work with art and guarantee a bright future for my daughter. Work hard on my art, for my family and my community. I am lucky to have the chance to earn enough money to provide for me and my partner, will it be enough for my daughter too? I will have to make extra efforts, considering that I am already covering many costs to have in my home everything ready for a baby’s needs. I know I am going to make it and, when it will be tough, I know that art will help me make through it. Art is not just my job, my career, it is a way of life. Art is my wave, my temple, my Nirvana. Joy and pain, in Art I fulfill my being. Portrait’s done, I took my thoughts to bed for a peaceful sleep, energizing rest, tomorrow is going to be another day to rock! First thing I was going to do in the morning was buying my daughter a pram and go to that meeting for a new exciting art project collaboration. Brilliant! Life is good.
On Thursday morning, 25th of February 2021, my partner comes to wake me up in bed urging me to go to our kitchen window to check on our car because she believes there is a wheel missing. My first thought, while I was still stone sleeping, was “Shit!!! They stole my car!”, then I thought “WTF!?!, a wheel missing?!?”, that can not be right. Jumped out of bed, I went to the bathroom window where there is a better view, there is my car with one missing wheel, what the hell on Earth! They stole my bloody right front wheel. On the ground, on the left side, a blue bucket. Stay calm, the wheel is gone. Have breakfast, control impulse, wash, get dressed, and go to check what the hell had happened. The wheel is gone, no point to rush. Take it easy, then find a solution. So I did.
When I was ready, I did the pandemic ritual of wearing mask, hand sanitizer, grabbed my jacket, I took the stairs, I am on the street next to my car. WTF!!?? They stole the back right wheel too. My car was standing on a blue bucket filled with cement. One small blue bucket to hold the weight of my car. The blue bucket on the left side was meant for the other two wheels. Luckily, a woman who lives in a building next to mine heard a noise early that morning and from her window screamed at the thieves and they run away. Two wheels were safe.
I went to look for my missing wheels on the side of the streets where the woman told me the thieves took their run but nothing was there. My hope was to find the two wheels, put them back on my car, go back home to work on my plans for the day. I was meant to buy a pram and instead now I have to buy two new wheels. That’s fucking shit!
I walked back to my car and I kept staring at the side where the two wheels were missing. I could not believe it. It fucked all of my plans for the day. I sent a message to my contact and said sorry but I don’t think I will make it to the meeting, I was robbed, two wheels are gone and now instead I have two blue buckets.
I was staring at that blue bucket with astonishment. It was blue like my car, the thieves even matched their tool with the color of my car, what a joke!
I called the police, they arrived, filled their papers, took some photos, took the fingerprints left on the door of my car, they left, people passing by asking about the event, I repeated 1000 times the same story, exhausted I made it to the meeting.
When the meeting was over I was kind of relaxed. I told to the people there about my story, about that blue freaking bucket there holding my car, a bucket which was used to allow the thieves to carry on their job unnoticed. Simple tool but fucking genius. Basically, I didn’t feel robbed, I felt hacked!
After the meeting I went back to my car and while I was staring at that blue bucket I was doing some math in my mind about the damage. Shit, these wheels are going to cost me at least 300 Euros, that’s 350 dollars pretty much, if I am lucky. Plus the pram, more 300 Euros, that’s about 600 Euros just for today, and I haven’t sold much of my art recently. I am fucked basically. I started to walk around my car, I started to feel a bit of pressure, stress was starting to rage. I walked back and forth, and back again there were the blue bucket was holding my car. It looked so surreal. It looked tiny compared to the size of my car but it was so strong. Something so small holding so much weight. It was kind of cute, I was like, this is pissing me off but this is very aesthetic tough, it looked so good. Bloody hell, I was starting to feel empathy with a blue bucket used to steal my wheels, WTF is going on?!?
I started to take photos because reality often looks better framed on a screen and seriously, OMG, this is a masterpiece. This is a perfect “pezzotto”. Pezzotto is the word we use in Napoli to describe something precarious used to fix or break something, basically, a hack. Staring and thinking about that blue bucket was easing my stress. I was admiring its features, the context, the composition, the color match, the whole event was a real life happening. I am a passionate southern man, I have strong and vivid imagination. This was a great opportunity for a storytelling. I had to bring this on the internet. And if I am lucky I am even gonna sell it because that blue bucket has a cultural value. The blue bucket is mint, it must be minted. And it’s pretty cute too.
You probably heard of Napoli. Pizza, pomodoro, when the moon hits your eyes that’s amore. Pompei, Vesuvius, Sorrento, the sweet life by the sea, ‘o sole mio, Gomorrah. Napoli is beautiful. Napoli is tough. We have a problem with criminality. Petty thefts are ordinary. I live right in front of Napoli’s main jail and I know that its packed. Its inhabitants are probably four times more of the amount they are supposed to be. Petty thefts are a way of life for many. We are kind of used to those, we know shit happens and shit happens everyday. Events like this happened to me are too the normality. Actually, I was feeling cool they didn’t steal my car. It’s crazy there is a huge group of people in my city making a living out of petty thefts for all they life and for generations. They are ingenious, really smart and wit but just too lazy and too used to steal from life one more day without having to work, living life day by day believing there is not other way. Going to prison is not even a drama. This is a pretty complex social matter so I might leave it for another storytelling opportunity. Let’s go back to the famous blue bucket.
So, shit happens and it feels real, it messes with your nerves, security and life plan. And in Napoli, a very complex society and community of people, we take life with philosophy. We hack life. Irony and a lot of endurance. We tend to see the good in everything that happens. After all, we live beneath a volcano that one day, soon or later, will erupt, earthquakes, fire and destruction and we are here, dealing with all sorts of shit with tight nerves and a smile on our face. Events happen, shit comes and goes. We have a complex relation with the concept of life and death, fate and will. Also, I have a super power. I am an artist. Precisely, I am a glitch artist. Glitch art helped me to explore, discover and learn about technologies and the digital landscape, but glitches taught me a lot about life. I say glitch philosophy. I take life with glitch philosophy. Neapolitan philosophy and glitch philosophy, I am almost invincible. Glitch taught me that life is made of events. Those events sometimes are good, but most of the time are failures. Glitch art taught me to deal with failures and find solutions. Those solutions solve problems and give great gratification, we learn through mistakes, we embrace errors, failures are opportunities to make something completely extra-ordinary. Glitch philosophy and Neapolitan philosophy taught me how to hack life when life turns nasty and critical. The theft of my two wheels was an event, a glitch. It triggered me to make art. Ideas, influences, experiences, mix and make.
The Blue Bucket is a hack. The thieves used it steal my wheels, petty theft as a gateway from their critical situation, to hack life. I used the blue bucket to hack this event, make art, art as a gateway from a critical situation, to hack life.
The thieves will sell the wheels to make some money, money I hope they will spend on their family. I will sell this artwork to make money I will spend on my family.
One event, two ways, two stories. And this is my side of the story, the story of the Blue Bucket, the story I know, the story I wanted to tell.
If you like to collect a Blue Bucket, please link to the page linked here below