Due to legal issues, Banksy announced this morning on www.banksy.co.uk that he is cancelling the promotion of a free print for voting against the Tories.
On 3 June, Banksy announced a new print release, a version of the iconic “Girl with Balloon”, only available to registered voters in the Bristol area who vote against the Conservative party. It would have been Banksy’s first regular print release since “Choose your weapon” in 2010.
Banksy’s take on Brexit comes at a contentious time for European politics: the UK is currently undergoing a general election that will dictate the relationship with or without the EU. And France is deciding on its European future on the other side of the Channel, only 80 km away. Confirmed by Banksy’s Instagram account on 7 May 2017.
Banksy reactivated his Instagram account in March 2017. Supposedly because the official website, http://www.banksy.co.uk, is dedicated exclusively to the Walled Off Hotel project. Starting on 20 March, Banksy published five oil paintings, of which two connect to the “Mediterranean Seaview” triptych at Walled Off Hotel.
The Walled Off Hotel is the latest big exhibition by Banksy, with more than 20 new originals. The hotel is a piece of art in itself and effectively mixes art, politics, and tourism. On the ground floor are approx. 15 new Banksy studio pieces and a museum commemorating “a hundred years since the British took control of Palestine and helped kick start a Century of confusion and conflict”. There are eight bookable hotel rooms on the upper floor, some of which are decorated by Banksy. There is also an exhibition hall with local Palestinian artists, among them Suleyman Mansour.
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 and a swing hanging off a watchtower. In his own words in a statement to the New York Times:
“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 . 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.”
On 1 October, Banksy began a one-month “show on the streets of New York”, for which he opened a separate website and Twitter account. Every day for the rest of the month, he produced one street art piece in different locations.
A pop-up boutique of about 25 spray-art canvases appeared on Fifth Avenue near Central Park on 12 October. Tourists were able to buy Banksy’s art for just $60 each. The artist wrote in a note on his website: “Please note this was a one-off. The stall will not be there again.” The BBC estimated that the street-stall art pieces could be worth as much as $31,000. The booth was staffed by an unknown elderly man who went about four hours before making a sale, yawning and eating lunch as people strolled by without a second glance at the work. Banksy chronicled the surprise sale in a video posted to his website, noting, “Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each.” Two of the canvasses sold at a July 2014 auction for $214,000. Source: Wikipedia.
Banksy opens his first exhibition in New York, “The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill”. It features mainly animatronics. Almost all of the content is used the following year in the “Banksy vs Bristol Museum”, Banksy’s biggest exhibition so far.