The Walled Off Hotel is the latest big exhibition by Banksy with more than 20 new originals. The hotel is a joint venture between the Banksy team and a local Palestinian entrepreneur with a background in the London art world. The Walled Off Hotel mixes art, politics, and tourism in a very effective way. On the ground floor, there are 15 new Banksys and a museum commemorating “a hundred years since the British took control of Palestine and helped kick start a Century of confusion and conflict.” On the upper level, there’s an exhibition hall with local Palestinian artists, among them Suleyman Mansour. The hotel in itself is a piece of political art in every aspect.
During 2016 there were only two street art pieces documented. One in London in January and the other one in Bristol in June.
London, January 2016
Bristol, June 2016
Dismaland was a temporary art project organised and financed by Banksy, constructed in the seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Prepared in secret, the pop-up exhibition at the Tropicana, a disused lido, was “a sinister twist on Disneyland” that opened during the weekend of 21 August 2015 and closed permanently on September 27, 2015, 36 days later. Banksy described it as a “family theme park unsuitable for children.”
Banksy created ten new works and funded the construction of the exhibition himself. The show featured 58 artists of the 60 Banksy originally invited to participate. 4,000 tickets were available for purchase per day, priced at £3 each.
Grim Reaper at Dismaland
Banksy’s pieces on Dismaland. Photos: R.A.
In February 2015 Banksy published a 2-minute video titled “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination” about his trip to Gaza Strip. During his visit he painted a few artworks including a kitten on the remains of a house destroyed by an Israeli air strike. (“I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens“) and a swing hanging off a watchtower. In a statement to the New York Times his publicist said:
I don’t want to take sides. But when you see entire suburban neighborhoods reduced to rubble with no hope of a future — what you’re really looking at is a vast outdoor recruitment center for terrorists. And we should probably address this for all our sakes.