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A critical and sociological analysis, at times ferocious and ironic, of the art market and the laws that regulate the prices of works. Exploring in some ways the economics of culture to decipher how it is possible to orient the general trend of the market. At the base the questions remain universal ones: what does it mean to be an artist, what are the criteria that determine one’s potential, all mixed through the irony of a mind that knows (and knows how to use) the marketing system well. This is Banksy too.
Telling the contemporary world in an ironic way is his mission. The contents of his work go far beyond the speed with which he seems to produce them. His figure could be compared iconographically to a modern Robin Hood, intent on combining the mechanics of Street art with those of pop as a vector to denounce the mechanisms of the “Modern Times”. His emblem lies in the declination of mass consumerism; a dizzying fair of plenty where the search for opulence manifests itself as a practice of chasing “what everyone is led to believe they should desire”.
Embedded in the Brit culture, where humor is absolutely identifying, in a hemisphere that expresses itself through aphorisms, one clearly perceives the extent to which the Anglo-Saxon coordinates are at the center of the stylistic architecture of this artist, full of riddles and nursery rhymes of which he continues quotes. From the far from veiled references to the English industrial giants to the representation of his mice, his unmistakable trademark, which invade spaces, surfaces, unusual places, in the manner of Robert Thompson, The Mouseman of Kilburn, a furniture carver from the 1800s who sculpted small rodents on each piece created as a signature of his style.
Banksy on display in Monza and Zurich
Photogallery 22 photos
The works between Zurich and Monza
Two exhibitions intended to be complementary; the first (Banksy A Genius Mind), a box office hit with 100,000 attendees, organized by Halle 662 in Zurich specializing in contemporary and multimedia art and recently concluded; the second in the splendid scenery of the Royal Palace of Monza. An in-depth look at the artist’s modus operandi and his body of work. Between original walls, serigraphs, photographs and moving images, they allowed the visitor to immerse themselves in the often dystopian, sometimes kaleidoscopic world of the artist’s imagination. Over 150 pieces with some immersive stages such as the wall that tells frames of the genesis of the works and the reconstruction of environments that were stages of artistic performances which unaware spectators were able to witness live. Like the reproduction of the London Tube carriage, the room with the elephant from Barely Legal, probably one of the most controversial exhibitions organized by the artist, in which to talk about social inequalities and the corresponding indifference of the human being, paraphrasing the metaphorical elephant in a room, had painted an Indian pachyderm as wallpaper. Beyond these explicitly self-managed actions, Banksy generally never authorizes his exhibitions, in the sense that he does not participate in the setting nor in the selection of the works but, he does not even prohibit their creation, convinced that art, as the first commandment, is a common good.
Banksy Painting Wall, Reggia di Monza, until 5 November