Provocative, irreverent, his name does not have a face, it is said to be brought up in an English town, hence the nickname the “graffiti of Bristol“, but no one knows where he lives. Yet to know too many people, is among the first artists sought on the web according to the official classification (the 300 most searched artists on the net) of the Artnet.
It could be one of our contemporary heroes, shy and mysterious, an artist who has no gallery to represent him. Imagine him around the world, in the shade of narrow streets, or along the ghost town ruins in socially and politically desolate lands where sooner or later we will show up and surprise you in the form of one of his works. Yes, because this is the only way in which it manifests Banksy, the street artist most famous in the world acclaimed and sought is the stencil that for over thirty years is his artistic signature in different cities of the world. Since the late ’80s, in fact, “singular images and humorous, sometimes accompanied by the slogan” appeared in London, New York, Paris etc … with explicit messages and ironic anti-war, anti-capitalistismo, anti-institutionalism against global warming and the barbarity of the slaughter techniques, in favor of peace. Many see in him the birth of street art and art guerrilia undoubtedly has created his own unique style in which they join the stencil graffiti.
The subjects chosen? Animals such as monkeys and rats, those with whom invaded the whole of London at the beginning of its activity, and even policemen, soldiers, children, elderly and vip.
Artistic urban raids but also in museums: one of the skills that has always marked was to infiltrate the most important museums of the world and hang his works among others already present. And often after several days someone has noticed the intrusion, for example, a picture painted in perfect eighteenth-century style, with the addition of some details completely anachronistic, such as spray cans!
His anonymity is a mystery and an enigma that has troubled researchers at Queen Mary University of London have tried to unravel rebuilding “geographic profiling (the geographic profiling, the static survey method that maps public information, also used by anti-terrorist police) the works of Banksy, according to which the artist profile coincide with the online public appearances (and beyond) of a man named Robin Gunningham “, but the real Banksy has never shown to support this theory .
All we have are his works left here and there around the world, a testimony of its passage and a symbolic sign of a political protest. In Italy Napoli has the distinction of two of his works: in Via Benedetto Croce, the historic center of Naples, where there was an ecstasy interpretation of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni by Bernini, who holds the chips and a sandwich, symbol of consumerism . This work has been covered and canceled from the work of another writer in 2010.
The Lady with Gun, a Virgin with a revolver instead of a halo, looking up at another Madonna, the one depicted in a shrine now disappeared, on a stencil in Piazza Girolami, protected today by a display case.
Among his subjects remember the Cat in Gaza in 2015, where the writer has also produced a video documenting the situation in the Gaza Strip after the war with Israel in July 2014 cost more than two thousand civilians, about 19 thousand houses destroyed and 100 thousand people left without a place to live.
“A man asked me what it meant to my work,” says the artist on its website referring to the image of the kitten, “and I explained that I wanted to show the destruction of Gaza by putting pictures on my site, but that people on the internet only looks at pictures of kittens “.
And Flower Thrower appeared in Jerusalem on a private building in 2003 when it was finished the construction of the separation wall in the Palestinian territories and Israel, upon which Banksy has made several murals in the following years.
Balloon girl ( “The Girl with the balloon”) made in London in 2002, in March of 2012 the artist has posted on its website an edited image of the famous “Balloon Girl” on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Syrian Civil War and the wave of #WithSyria campaign in support of the victims of the conflict.
Or Kissing Coppers ( “The Kiss of the cops’) Brighton, 2004; “Armored Dove” (Dove Battleship “) Bethlehem, August 2005; “Sweep it Under the Carpet” ( “Spazzalo under the carpet”) London, 2006-2007; “Mobile Lovers” ( “Lovers with your smartphone”) Bristol, in April 2014; “Booth Spy” ( “The light cabin”) Cheltenham, in April 2014 opera, inspired by the so-called Datagate, is a tribute to Edward Snowden, who has published the files that have unveiled the control of US citizens’ communications and Europeans.
Many different works no longer existing or gathered in private collections. And from some of these international collections come the oper that will be exhibited from May 24 until September 4 in Rome, Palazzo Cipolla – Via del Corso – the exhibition WAR, CAPITALISM & FREEDOM ‘. The artist “known as banksy is not associated or involved in-que’s museum exhibition. All works in the exhibition come from pro-international private collectors and no work ‘was removed from the road, “read on the press release … but we hope that these days Banksy roams through the halls of the Palazzo Cipolla and Roman alleys, cross the his eyes by chance and hope that you let one of his sign here, in the capital.
PREES RELEASE FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE EXHIBITION: WAR, CAPITALISM & LIBERTY
An exhibition conceived, promoted and realised by
Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo
Chairman Emmanuele Francesco Maria Emanuele
Curated by Stefano Antonelli, Francesca Mezzano & Acoris Andipa
War, Capitalism & Liberty, are the contemporary issues explored in this exhibition through the artworks of the main international street artist known as Banksy. This thought-provoking exhibition is to be held at Palazzo Cipolla, from 24 May to 4 September 2016.
The exhibition includes extensive corpus artis of Banksy’s works coming from private international collections. Original paintings, prints, sculptures and rare objects will be exhibited, many of which have never been shown previously.
It is a non-profit exhibition, characterized by a strong educational and school-targeting component, which is a comprehensive scientific review of the artist known as Banksy.
As a street artist with his roots in Bristol, Banksy has influenced globally the urban art movement and is arguably one of the movement’s most notorious artist. The exhibition will examine how social and political events of our world are viewed through the street art of Banksy;
from his motif of monkeys declaring ‘Laugh Now But One Day I’ll Be in Charge’ to the chilling image of ‘Kids on Guns’.
Banksy is one of most discussed, debated and acclaimed cultural figures of our age. His anonymous persona has captivated international audiences since the late 1990s. An urban artist, his media ranges from painting on canvas, screen-prints and sculpture to large installations and even the occasional livestock. His artwork reveals a unique mix of humour and humanity; it is created for the masses and affords a voice for those in – and indeed outside – of society who would otherwise not be heard.
A recent example is his commentary on the refugee crisis and the after effects of Dismaland. His anonymity and refusal to conform mean that he is as difficult to nail down as is his artwork, and thus a survey of his works has never been officially or unofficially exposed in a private museum to a public audience.
The Fondazione brought together this collection – which is extensive and unprecedented – thanks to lenders from around the world. The exhibition will highlight Banksy’s great artistic skills, through all his career, underlining the main inspiration sources: WAR, CAPITALISM and LIBERTY.
Although the artist retains full anonymity, Banksy is believed to have been born in Bristol in 1974. Taking inspiration from the Bristol Underground Scene, the artist claims that his distinctive style, which combines stencil and graffiti writing, developed out of a need to quickly create large-scale works. Banksy’s work typically includes satirical social and political commentary, and ranges from murals to sculpture and installation, often playing with the contextual aspects of the work.
The artist’s first show was held in Bristol in 2000 at the Severn Shed. In 2002, Banksy exhibited at Los Angeles’ 33 1/3 Gallery and in 2003 he was commissioned to design to cover of Blur’s ThinkTank. Today, Banksy’s work appears internationally; most notably, he painted nine sardonic images on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier. In Summer 2009, Banksy took over the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with an exhibition attracting over 300,000 visitors and hour-long queues all the way down the road. The artist has experimented with film, achieving an Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. No gallery represents Banksy.
In 2013, Banksy held an official residency in New York titled ‘Better Out Than In’ in which he set up a street stall selling canvases for $60 USD to tourists. Understandably, many walked past not knowing that was for sale was in fact worth tens of thousands of dollars. Only a few were lucky to buy which, in itself, is quite ironic.
Last year, 2015 saw the opening of DISMALAND. A large-scale ‘bemusement’ park greeted visitors of all nationalities and ages with the most unhelpful staff to match the most imperfect day out. The theme park brought together notable artists, including Damien Hirst.
In December of last year Banksy headed to Calais where he produced a series of murals including that called The Son of a Migrant from Syria which chillingly depicted Steve Jobs.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The artists known as Banksy is not involved or associated with this exhibition which is drawn from international private collections.
FONDAZIONE TERZO PILASTRO – ITALIA E MEDITERRANEO
The Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo works in the social, health, educational, cultural field and operates also in support of scientific research. What oils the wheels of the Fondazione is a strong interest in linking the traditional attention to development needs and territorial social necessity – the local dimension – to a broader vision, globally focused on urgent issues of the contemporary world, and it intends to face them acting as a propulsive and creative center of ideas and proposals.
In the arts, the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro has focused on the phenomenon of Street Art for long time, beginning with the happy experience of “Big City Life” in Rome, the multi-actor public art project for urban requalification that has made possible the recovery of the working-class residential area of Tor Marancia, then continuing with the important contribution to the international exhibition “Icastica 2015” in Arezzo and, finally, the “Source Codes” exhibition devoted to important street-artists from all over the world, recently organized in Catania. On this occasion, the Fondazione donated to the City the monumental work of Vhils decorating the large silos on the waterfront of the port.
Prof. Avv. EMMANUELE F. M. EMANUELE Chairman of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo
“The exhibition of the artist known as “Banksy”, that we will show at Palazzo Cipolla in Rome, thanks to the “999 Contemporary”, is a far-reaching initiative”- Prof. Avv. Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, Chairman of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo, said – “It’s the first time, in fact, that works of this artist, now considered the world best street-artist, are exhibited in a museum. It is a corpus of about 150 works including sculptures, stencils, and other artistic expressions, all strictly from private collectors and, therefore, absolutely not removed from the road. The exhibition is a unique opportunity also for the themes that it deals with – war, capitalism and freedom – that seem to be both the primary sources of inspiration of Banksy’s art – characterized by a strong component of social protest – and the most current and urgent themes characterizing our present. This exhibition is, in my opinion, the perfect and natural culmination of a path that I wanted to pave, through the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro, starting long time ago, in order to give voice to a form of expression – the street-art – that takes art out of the museums and shifts it into everyone’s places, making it something belonging to our daily lives. A non-academic phenomenon, but alive and vital, that I appreciated in my early years in Los Angeles and Miami, immediately realizing its magnitude and great communicative effectiveness. ”
Acoris Andipa, the director of Andipa / Andipa is a leading Modern & Contemporary Art gallery based in Knightsbridge, London and established as private dealer in 1967. It is still owned and operated by the founding family who were first recognised in fine art in 1593. It is a reputable active player in the Banksy market, exhibiting the artist’s works from their private collection since 2006. The following year, Andipa produced the first major secondary Banksy solo exhibition from its own collection which received 36,000 visitors in 6 weeks. It has been responsible for placing many of the artist’s important works.
Stefano Antonelli and Francesca Mezzano are the founders of 999Contemporary, a private non-profit institution based in Rome, devoted to the study, practice and development of urban contemporary art through public art projects, exhibitions, educational and charity projects. They have curated more than two hundred public works throughout Italy and abroad so far, creating last December with the Portuguese artist Vhils and the fundamental support of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro the greatest portrait ever painted by human beings on the silos of Catania’s port. One hundred and sixty public works – many of them are monumental ones – only in the city of Rome, through projects that brought artists from all over the world to paint the metro station Spagna, the Ostiense district and the entire residential area of Tor Marancia for Fondazione Terzo Pilastro which has now more visitors than the major Roman museums of contemporary art. In 2014 they curated Urban Legends, the first exhibition of street art hosted by Macro, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, bringing the new generation of street artists face to face with contemporary art. In 2015 for Fondazione Terzo Pilastro they curated the Source Codes exhibition at the Platamone Museum of Catania, where for the first time the American graffiti from the origin were linked to contemporary street art, an exhibition that set a record for the highest number of visitors in that museum. They are consultants for Roma Capitale Municipio Roma VIII for urban requalification through art. Francesca Mezzano is currently President of the Biennial of Young Artists of the Mediterranean.
999 CONTEMPORARY, FRANCESCA MEZZANO ACORIS ANDIPA
“On the threshold of a world living deep transformations, this exhibition analyzes the progress of iconography and performance of these three fundamental expressions of our civilization, through the work of the most controversial and popular contemporary artist and activist: an anonymous British artist who calls himself Banksy. Active since the ’90s, the artist known as Banksy has used the public space to express and exhibit his works freeing the potential of graffiti expressive freedom, writing – in fact – the source code of the first global artistic movement and open source later known as street art. At the beginning of the new millennium, in fact, the advent of Internet and the resulting phenomenon of image sharing on a global scale has consecrated him as an idol of the new generations, giving him a worldwide fame. In the history of Western art, none like this artist has managed to bring themes of this magnitude to the attention of a so vast and heterogeneous public, redefining the perimeters and synchronization needs of the collective sensibility progress. “ Stefano Antonelli
“While generally an exhibition is a large space to distribute the cultural product for adults with a small educational area for children, this exhibition is a great educational space for children and a small cultural space for adults.” Francesca Mezzano
“When a Foundation, that has been the most important art of our traditions, invests in an exhibition of this kind, it is willing to express its intention to start a high-profile reflection on the interpretation of its time, it is willing to express the need to be contemporary and not just coeval, in order to build the path for creating the virtuous connections between tradition and innovation, between past and future, sharing this way with the public.”
PLEASE NOTE THE ARTIST KNOWN AS BANKSY IS NOT ASSOCIATED OR INVOLVED IN THIS MUSEUM SHOW. ALL THE ARTWORKS IN THIS EXHIBITION ARE FROM INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE COLLECTORS