Actually, all Neapolitan kids feel emotionally touched when they are at the presence of the Nativity, especially if it belongs to their family: they join the sacredness of the crib to a feeling of curiosity and fun for the “little old Neapolitan world” of the Crib, full of different characters and capable of conveying an intense sensation to both children and adults’ eyes and heart.
Carmine’s interest for the crib will mature and strengthen within the family: “I started this activity because of my great personal passion and my family tradition, in fact my father Antonio handed me down all the knowledge he had acquired on the culture and techniques of the 18th and 19th century Neapolitan Nativity”.
Thanks to this imprinting, Carmine moves his first steps into the world of art and handicraft crib productions and, even if under the careful guidance of his father Antonio, he gets the first public recognition for his work in 1977, at the age of only 15 years.
In the early nineties he is already a member of the Neapolitan Association of the Italian Friends of the Crib and his productions begin to travel for exhibitions in different cities and countries: first Naples, next the rest of Italy and then a long sequence of foreign cities such as Hamburg, Leipzig and Traunstein (Germany), Arles, Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille (France), Budapest (Hungary), Krakow (Poland), Barcelona (Spain), up to sail the ocean and to be admired in New York and Santo Domingo.
Today Carmine Iodice creates crib sets and accessories, as well as shaping shepherds (of varied sizes from 8 to 60 cm), following the building rules and the typical style of the 18th/19th century Artistic Neapolitan Nativity; he works in synergy with his sister Susi who takes care of the “dressing” of the shepherds made by him, so strengthening and maintaining alive and present their long family tradition of the crib.
A “family history” that Carmine Iodice, sharing his sister’s goal, wanted to honor and remember through the creation of a permanent crib (whose size is 2.10 x 1.25 meters and of which he handled the creation of the stage design and shepherds shaping) that he donated and is now hosted at the Church of SS. Cosmas and Damiano in Secondigliano.
This nativity scene is in memory of his father Antonio. It is a way to remember him and tell him “thank you” for the love, passion and art that he passed him down.