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venice biennale

Street artist on the street

Banksy, the most famous street artist in the world, appears among the Venetian stalls, like any street artist with a hat and a newspaper, and his true identity, as always, remains a mystery.

This time he has exhibited a series of 9 paintings that make up a single image, a view of Venice in the style of “neo-Canaletto”, with a giant cruise liner arriving in the background, a work that poses the problem of rising seas due to global pollution of environment, one of the themes so dear to the artist.

The work entitled “Venice in oil”, as the handwritten sign says, refers to the controversy about the passage of large ships in the Lagoon.

The unexpected installation took place on May 9th this year, coinciding with the 58th Biennale.

“Despite this is the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I have never been invited”: this is the provocative message accompanying the video posted on his Instagram account yesterday, Wednesday 22 May.

The video, assembled to perfection between background music, curious tourists and cats, is almost a mini story and raises several questions about the message and makes one think about the real significance of his participation in this event.

The reflection initially involves the theme of environment, and then expands to include a strong criticism of the system of the contemporary art: Banksy asks what is right to authorize and what is not, and what are the criteria for choosing the system.

The poor street artist, lacking the necessary documents, is forced to leave at the request of the municipal police, while a huge cruise ship, harmful to the environment and destroying the landscape, an element of both visual and audial disturbance – is passing quietly and slowly in the background playing his siren.

In Italy the artist has just been celebrated with an unauthorized exhibition at the Mudec of Milan that ended on 4 April. “The Art of Banksy. A Visual Protest ”, the first Milanese exhibition dedicated to the artist from Bristol, was curated by Gianni Mercurio and collected over 70 works including paintings, sculptures, prints, objects, photographs and videos. Divided into 4 sections, the exhibition offered an in-depth view of Banksy’s artistic career, from the first graffiti to curatorial activities such as Dismaland and Walled Off Hotel in Palestine.

“The shades of the art rainbow are endless: choose your favorite!”

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