BANKSY | WEST BANK | STREET ARTIST
Posted on September 25, 2015 by Trace
B A N K S Y
the mysterious creator of controversial Street Art, combines dark humour with a distinctive stencilling technique and has an international reputation that precedes his anonymous identity.
In 2005 Banksy, packed his stencils and spray cans, and ventured to the Middle East to share his vision with those living on the Palestinian side. His visit is recorded in the nine stencilled pictures, some surreal, some poignant, he left on the gigantic barrier. His work was labelled on his website, as “holiday snaps”.
Banksy’s feelings about the 425-mile long wall barrier that separates Israel from the Palestinian territories, were made explicit in a statement which says the wall “essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison.”
Israel describes it as a vital security barrier, while the UN says it’s illegal. But as far as the guerrilla graffiti artist Banksy is concerned, the 425-mile long barrier that separates Israel from the Palestinian territories is a vast concrete canvas too tempting to resist.
Although the paintings themselves are not overtly political, his feelings about the wall are apparent from his statement: “The Israeli government is building a wall surrounding the occupied Palestinian territories. It stands three times the height of the Berlin Wall and will eventually run for over 700km – the distance from London to Zurich. The wall is illegal under international law and essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison.”
But he concedes: “It also makes it the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers.”
One of the pictures shows two gleeful children with bucket and spade standing beneath a hole in the wall that opens on to a vista of a tropical paradise. In another, he has transformed the wall into a cosy sitting room complete with two enormous armchairs and a window that frames an alpine landscape.
Other pictures show a little boy kneeling at the foot of a rope ladder that snakes to the top of the wall and the silhouette of a girl rising through the air clutching balloons.
The barrier, which is made of concrete walls and razor-wire fences, has been cited as illegal by the UN, which has ordered it dismantled, though Israel says the wall protects it against suicide bombers.
Jo Brooks, his spokeswoman, said there had been some hairy moments at the barrier. “The Israeli security forces did shoot in the air threateningly and there were quite a few guns pointed at him.”
Banksy also records on his website how an old Palestinian man said his painting made the wall look beautiful. Banksy thanked him, only to be told: “We don’t want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall. Go home.”
UPDATE: the above story was published on HC in 2013. Today February 27th 2015, The Guardian reported that The Bristolian street artist Banksy has returned to Palestine to create another series of works, following his famous 2005 series painted on the West Bank barrier wall.
The artist made a film to go alongside the works, documenting the devastation wrought by Israeli militia and bombing campaigns. “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination,” he sarcastically writes in its captions, recalling the banal exhortations of holiday brochures.
For the new images, further details and to watch the video made by Banksy, see the Guardian story — Banksy’s tour of a ruined Gaza
Photos: banksy.co.uk Story from The Guardian UK from 2005
See the trailer for a great Doco about
Banksy & Street Art HERE
Follow BANKSY on Instagram
For further information on BANKSY, including
over 70 of his works, exclusive articles about the artist,
and his up-to-date exhibitions
On a daily quest for Freedom
seek more of Handsome Citizens here ⇟