Five days ago, Banksy posted the following video on his Instagram and Twitter sites with this caption:
“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.”
Banksy has maintained his secret identity and is known by his single name moniker as a graffiti satirist. He travels the world leaving thought-provoking messages about poverty, human trafficking, homelessness and more.
Venice has been crumbling and is overwrought with tourists. It has been a living trauma for many residents as they experience their beloved city return to the water due to overcrowding, lack of infrastructure and the mass consumption of the local resources. Banksy speaks to these issues, although not literally, as he silently set up his unsanctioned booth at the Biennale event. He created a set of nine paintings in a classic painterly style, depicting a massive cruise ship taking over the quaint and glorious city.
Banksy left at least one other mark in the city during his visit. Although he left no text about the image on his Instagram post. It is quite clear that this image is a migrant child, holding a flare out as a cry for help. She is painted in the waterway where citizens of all classes, tourists and the media have access to see her. She is painted on a blighted wall, which is also a common choice by the artist as one of his goals is to draw attention to forgotten spaces.
If you’d like to learn more about Banksy, his mission and art, please follow the link on my blog. There are also numerous books about the artist, but few cover the art and stunts that have occurred over the past five years.