The Voice of Street Art
British born graffiti artist Banksy, crossed the pond to Paris this week to make a statement about immigration.
Forever controversial, the street artist who has always valued his anonymity, surreptitiously ventured into the city of light to make a political point.
Over the course of a few days, Banksy, whose works of art are reportedly worth millions, produced at least 3 striking creative statements across the capital.
The first one was discovered on June 20 on World Refugee Day. It was found outside a building previously used as the city’s refugee centre called La Bulle. 3,000 immigrants once lived there until Macron closed it down last year. The evictees are now living on the streets or in makeshift shelters which are constantly being evacuated by the French government.
The image is of a young black girl trying to cover a swastika with a pretty pink pattern, above the bed where she sleeps. Evidently, Banksy is trying to shine a light on the circumstances of young child immigrants in Paris. (image above)
The second artwork shows a businessman giving a bone to a dog which seems to have a severed leg. The businessman is hiding a handsaw suggesting he is the perpetrator of the dogs’ plight.
And then, Banksy’s take on the famous image by Jacque Louis David entitled Napoleon crossing the Alps. Here, the street artist replaces Napoleon with a rider wearing a red cape covering his/her face.
Many have suggested that this is with reference to the 2010 ban on the Burkha, but it could also imply the blindness of government to the real issues facing the country.
In addition to these works, Banksy also added his famous, signature rat stencils in various spaces around the city. Not that Paris needs any more rats right now! 😉
On the Left Bank not far from the Sorbonne, one of his rats adorned with a pretty white bow with pink spots, bears the weight of a fallen number 8 from a Mai 1968 tag.
This month and year was a volatile period of civil unrest in the city. There was a massive student revolt closely followed by strikes, rioting and protests. It was a watershed moment for the capital and the fallen 8 suggests that the revolutionary spirit may be diminishing in Paris.
In other spaces, a rat is surfing a popping champagne cork and pondering blowing up a billboard.
The rats are meant to represent ordinary working class folk, according to art critics.
We are still waiting for Banksy to admit that these art pieces were down to him, but his followers are already convinced, that what we are seeing, is the most infamous urban artists’ spray can in action.
Some of the artwork has already been ruined unfortunately but there is is an effort to try and protect what is left.
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