Banksy is back to be heard. He has taken a stand against the war, as we have told you here, sharing some touching works he has created in Ukraine, and then, a few days ago, he released a new mocking post on Instagram in which he invited anyone passing through Regent Street, one of London’s shopping streets, to “get” the clothes in the Guess window, guilty of using images of some his works on sweatshirts and t-shirts without permission (“Brandalized”, read ironically in the shop window, which was then promptly closed).
Banksy, as usual, he has shown that he knows how to best play the game of the mass media.
Banksy, or at least his works, also returns to Italy, to Trieste, to the immense Hall of Enchantmentsoverlooking the harbour, where it is just now opening The Great Communicator. Banksy. Unauthorized exhibitiona project in 60 works edited by Gianni Mercuriostrongly desired by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and the municipality of Trieste and created in collaboration with Madeinart (until 10 April).
Banksy will also have his say on this exhibition? We ask Mercurio, who in Italy is one of the leading experts on famous street artist with an uncertain identity (and we also take the opportunity to understand: it really is Robert DelNajaleader of the Massive attacks? Or is it part of a collective?). “Banksy It is now a very recognizable brand and now I don’t think it matters all that much to know his name. We know for sure that he was born in Bristol and is 50 years old. As curator, I have tried several times to get in touch with him: organizing an exhibition on an artist without his collaboration is complex, especially since today his works are extremely difficult to find».
Yes: those on the walls are where they are, and are often ruined. The others, framed in serigraphs created from stencils signed and initialed in series by Banksy, stand in the homes of Hollywood stars («Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt they are his collectors», Mercurio tells us) or in the hands of many speculators who lend them at a very high price for exhibitions. This exhibition in Trieste, with so many original works, is therefore configured as a little miracleable to explain to us because Banksy is Banksy.
Once again it is Gianni Mercurio who gives us a solution to the enigma: «What will remain of Banksy in twenty or thirty years? Maybe little. If we think of his technique, he was not an innovator worthy of Keith Haring or Andy Warhol or Basquiat (of the three artists on display we also see works compared with the works of Banksy, ed). Its value stands in disruptive use of art as a communication tool on universal themes».
This is the key to understanding the Trieste exhibition: one wanders through the rooms and retraces Banksy’s career, from the first photographic “self-portraits” (in which he never reveals his face) to his more recent works, alternating works on paper, on wood, small sculptures, posters, record covers, photographs. In each of his actions, from mocking Queen Victoria and Churchill to the construction of the Walled Off Hotelin Bethlehem (on display some suggestive photos of the rooms, which overlook the wall that divides Israel from Palestine), Banksy was one communication strategist.
«The great communicator was the claim with which Ronald Reagan, the American president of the eighties, had presented himself in the electoral campaign: we know that he did not live up to the motto – comments Mercurio -. We thought, by overturning the point of view, of comparing Banksy with the conservative slogan, to demonstrate how much he is instead a effective communicator of our time».
Difficult to choose which work we like moreamong those exhibited in the five rooms of the exhibition, an exhibition that also explores the stencil technique thanks to which Banksy divides the work into strips to be painted on the wall in negative, for a quick and fast action, often at night.
The unmistakable style of Banksy, with a generous dose of sarcasm tempered by some tendernessranges from ironic representation of politicians (and the Queen and English traditions, from tea to the flag) to the famous metaphors with mice (or the monkeys) to describe our present.
The most delicate works are reserved for children and teenagers, such as the very famous one Girl with balloon (Do you remember? A copy, during an auction, was half self-destructed, through an electronic device remotely activated by the artist himself, effectively doubling its commercial value…), or the devastating Napalm.
If you are passing through Trieste, do not miss the opportunity to see this exhibition which pays homage to one of the most original talents of our time (in the first room there is the gigantic workcoming from a private and rarely exhibited collection, of a “fallen angel” who alone deserves the ticket, is entitled People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one: you see it in the center of this photo).
Trieste street art: an unusual tour
And if you have some time left, try walking around the city in search of the street art triestina: here it is one soul urban much less known than the Hapsburg one (the literary cafes, the neoclassical buildings, the large Piazza Unità d’Italia overlooking the sea, the castle of Miramare…), but it’s worth going to find it. For some years the Chromopolis project of the municipality has made over thirty murals to redevelop some city spaces involving local and foreign writers: you will find street art interventions (“legal” as agreed in the spaces and themes) in front of the wall of the Pedocinit historic bathhouse of the city (which is actually called La Lanterna, has a 1920s structure and remains the only one in Italy to have maintained the division between males and females) and also around the stadium wall.
Are you passionate about the genre but are you looking for something more radical? Take the number 25 bus and go to the neighborhood of Rozzol Melara, a brutalist-style reinforced concrete fortress, designed in the 1970s. Here, in a socially complex areathe talented writers of Melart have redesigned the common areas in an original way, involving the inhabitants and transforming a place of decay into a space where channeling anger into creativity and color.
It deserves attention.
Source: Vanity Fair