Pictures of the new piece were posted on 1 February on several independent Instagram accounts.
Photos: @francas on Instagram
Walled Off Hotel opened almost two years ago in Bethlehem, only six kilometers south of downtown Jerusalem, but on the other side of the wall. The hotel is a piece of art in itself and at the same time a huge political statement, all mixed with Banksy’s usual charm and wit. A visit is highly recommendable. See previous post: The Walled Off Hotel. Palestine, March 2017.
The piece was painted just a few miles away from the Tata steel mill in Port Talbot, southern Wales. Looking at the painting from one angle it depicts a child with a sled, trying to catch the snowflakes with the tongue and hopeful to use the sled if the snowfall continues. The piece was confirmed by Banksy’s Instagram on 19 December. According to several sources, it was painted some days before.
Local councillor, Nigel Thomas Hunt, said in a statement to The Guardian: “We’re buzzing down here. The placing of the work is very clever. You can look at the painting and see the furnaces in the background. We’re delighted. I’ve written to the council already and we need to secure this really quickly.”
The Guardian article continues: “This year, the World Health Organization said Port Talbot was the most polluted place in the UK. But in May, Neath Port Talbot council said the WHO got the figures wrong and had apologised.”
A new piece of street-art appeared today on Banksy’s Instagram and on the official website, http://www.banksy.co.uk. It’s a text-based stencil incorporating a free-hand dick. “Based on your browsing history the following graffiti has been recommended for you…”. The exact location is not confirmed.
It’s a somewhat surprising artistical turn, but, it’s not the first male genital in the Banksy catalog.
In Banksy’s own words, as announced 3 November on Instagram:
“Opening my first ever stall at a trade fair next week. I’ve painted a replica separation barrier to promote the Walled Off hotel, ironically the neighbours have complained it’s too tall. We’ll be at Palestine stand giving away free stuff, World Travel Fair, London Excel centre 6th and 7th November. Free to get in if you register online today and pretend to be a travel agent.”
A few days later a new poster was announced. In Banksy’s own words:
“Free Palestine poster. Be advised we only have 1000 posters to hand out each day at the tourist fair. You can download one from the website at http://www.banksy.co.uk “
The “we” pronoun in Banksy’s Instagram text was represented by Walled Off Hotel manager Wissam Salsaa handing out the posters personally.
“In a moment that caught the art world by surprise, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon self-destructed just as the final hammer signaled the end of an evening of auctions in London. The work sold for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million), tying the artist’s record in pounds at auction previously achieved in 2008.
The framed work, spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on board depicted a girl reaching out toward a bright red, heart shaped balloon – one of Banksy’s most iconic images – began to pass through a shredder hidden in the frame.”