A man (believed to be Robert Banks) who doesn't seek fame or recognition, whose often funny and controversial artwork inspires thoughtful dialogue and immediate reactions. An artist and a political activist. Our Beloved Banksy.
Remember In December 2009, when at the close of the United Nations Climate Change Conference he painted a mural on global warming that said, "I don't believe in global warming" with the words submerged in water?
Or earlier this December, at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, when he left a bust of a priest's face covered with bathroom tiles to achieve a 'pixelated' effect to make a statement on child abuse scandals in the Catholic Church? The Huffington Post
reported this story 4 days ago.
We may not know much, but we know that he isn't afraid to disturb our sense of what belongs and what's appropriate. His works are known to satirize modern society's inhumanity, by encouraging us to reassess the world we see around us.
Banksy had up this "Manifesto" on his website which explains his concept as well as the Holocaust Lipstick motif in his art. It is an excerpt from Gonin’s diary entry about the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945:
"It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it; it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick.... At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity."
Most recently is this new sculpture, "Fallen". It looks like a Roman soldier, lying broken on the floor. I think it speaks to the fall of great empires, and could be a comment on the falling to pieces of the European Union?
I am not sure where this sculpture will appear, and since location has practically everything to do with the message of the work, it's difficult to say.
For now the work is up on Bansky's website
What do you think the message might be? I would love to hear some of your thoughts!