Street Art in Cosenza: Roxy in the Box
There is something about the historical centre of Cosenza. It instantly captured my heart, from the first time I walked along its ancient cobblestone roads with a gelato in hand on a hot summer August afternoon back in 1997.
Back then, it was still an important hub of the city with it’s restaurants, shops and coffee shops.
But, the modern city began to grow. A pedestrian area was created, and more and more businesses began setting up shop there. As the modern city expanded, the old town began to dwindle.
Corso Telesio was once the main hub for commercial activity. This narrow cobblestone road is lined with incredibly tall ancient buildings on each side. It is quite suggestive.
Sadly, the old town has been sort of left behind with people choosing the convenience of the new city. But, old Cosenza is still so captivating to me in all its haunting beauty.
I enjoy going for walks along Corso Telesio and continue to admire the ancient architecture and narrow alleyways that sprout out of it. If you read my blog, you know I spent quite a bit of time roaming Old Cosenza to find “A Ficcuzza”.
It doesn’t matter how often I frequent a place, it seems I’m always discovering something new.
Back in 2015, my roommate and I went for an evening walk to Cosenza Vecchia (Old Town Cosenza) for an event that was taking place during the Christmas period.
Before I get too into the story, I should point out that I adore street art. Not mindless scribbles made to destroy property, but actual street art – created to inspire or evoke emotion.
So, as we were making our way up Corso Telesio, I couldn’t help but notice some interesting street art that I was certain I had never seen before.
This one caught my attention instantly, because it made me think of my cousin who loves pin-ups and vintage. So I snapped a picture, thinking it was cool.
But, as we continued to make our way along the street, we came across others that had the same style and feel of the previous one I’d seen.
It had to be the same artist!
Just below one of the images, I noticed the words “Roxy In The Box”. I wondered if that might be the name of the artist.
Well, it turns out it is!
Roxy in the Box is an artist hailing from Napoli who studied art in Bologna. She found herself in Cosenza as part of the cultural initiative BocsArt, which brings in contemporary artists from all over who take up shop in small studios and create. These studios are set up in a way that allow people to pass by and watch the artist at work.
On November 2nd, in the late hours of the night, Roxy in the Box decided to bring some new life to the seemingly abandoned streets of Old Cosenza. Paying homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini on the 40th anniversary of his murder, Roxy in the Box took to the streets and cleverly placed some of her Pop-Art images.
One of these includes images of Mastroianni and Sophia Loren placed on the shutters of an abandoned “cinema”.
And the vintage looking coin wash image that originally caught me attention was placed where there used to be a laundry mat.
A couple years of have passed by since the first time I saw Roxy in the Boxes work, and although some of them have almost completely worn away. It’s still cool to see what’s left of them every time I find myself in Old Cosenza.
Just recently the BocsArt Museum was opened. This modern art museum features pieces donated by the various artists, like Roxy in the Box, who have taken part in the BocsArt initiative. I haven’t been yet, but I plan to go soon and I’m curious to see if any of her pieces are on display there. Stay tuned to the blog and I’ll be sure to post about it when I visit.