Banksy was not welcome at the Venice Biennale, but he decided to come anyway. In a video posted yesterday on his account Instagram, the most famous street artist in the world appears on the piazza san marco, the beating heart of the City of the Doges. Although the Biennial “is the art event of the most prestigious in the world, I’ve never been invited, for a reason that I don’t know”, legend mischievously british artist.
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In the video, it installs a small booth exhibition of oil paintings. Banksy himself is hidden behind a long grey coat, a green hat and a journal which he flipped through, sitting quietly near their work, while the curious stop to examine it.
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. Setting out my stall at the Venice Biennale. Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited.
The installation in question is called “Venice in Oil”, according to a small cartel located under the paintings. A pun on the double meaning of the word “oil” in English: oil, paintings, oil, one of the tourist boats. Because of his work, a collection of nine canvases, represents a huge cruise liner, white, overwhelming the décor of its monumental dimensions. Behind the liner you will see the iconic St Mark’s campanile, Rialto bridge and basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, as well as some palaces. In the foreground, disturbed by the presence of this mechanical monster of the seas, gondoliers on their boats seem to shake the arms as a sign of distrust. The message, a denunciation of the mass tourism in this city if fragile, is very explicit.
However, the presence of the artist on the piazza, the most famous of Venice is of short duration. The video also shows the arrival of several police officers. “You have permission, or you leave,” said one of them. And while Banksy admits that its installation is illegal, the same policeman orders her: “You can’t stay here.” The last shot of the video shows the artist pushing a big box of wood, in which are stowed the pieces detached from his work. At the same time, draw in the background an ocean liner, for real, this time, sailing in the middle of the basin of Saint-Marc, 100m from the docks.
ripples of the venice canals come to attack the feet of the child in life jacket image of a refugee crossing the Mediterranean. MARCO SABADIN/AFP
Banksy, however, has not left the city without affixing his signature in the stone. In recent days, several readers have spotted the apparition, at the edge of the Rio di Ca’ Foscari, a mural similar to the style of the british artist. It represents a child wearing a lifejacket, from trigger a flare of distress which smoke escapes from candy-pink. A theme and a style of painting similar to the habits of Banksy, even if the artist has so far not claimed the authorship of the work.
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Banksy : a new one ?work is allocated to him in London – Watch it on Figaro Live