Mysterious street artist Banksy might have dropped by one of the world’s most prestigious art events, the Venice Biennale, to make another statement on the pressing issue. The knight of the brush and spray paint shared a video of the surprise visit to the Italian town on his official Instagram page.
The clip shows the alleged art genius/vandal, or his accomplice, setting up a stall in one of Venice’s crowded squares along with numerous painters. The collection of paintings, installed on easels and titled Oil in Venice, looked like a puzzle, depicting a giant cruise liner in the midst of the old city, which is criss-crossed with channels. According to media reports his new installation/performance was intended to draw attention to environmental pollution, as such ships empty their waste right into the sea, harming marine creatures and plants.
Notably, in the caption Banksy lamented: “Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited”. However, this self-initiated visit did not seem to be welcomed. After sitting in front of his installation for some time, the man in the video was apparently rushed away by police for erecting his stall without authorisation.
Banksy has made his name in the art world and beyond with statements on numerous political and social issues in the form of murals and graffiti, but has managed to keep his identity a secret despite numerous attempts to find out who the mysterious artist is.
However, he has not stayed away from major cultural events in the past. Banksy staged one of his performances at a Contemporary Art Evening Auction at Sotheby's London last October. Then, a 101cm-by-78 cm canvas of the famous artwork “Girl with a Balloon” was destroyed by a mechanism operating from within the base of the frame, which shredded the artwork into strips shortly after it made £860,000, or $1.37 million.
The famous, but anonymous, artist claimed responsibility for the incident, as his official Instagram page published a post with a caption reading "Going, going, gone…"