Banksy, artista contro


Against power.
Against money.
Against injustice.

In collective imagination, Bansky represents the artist against the tide.

Bansky is the rebel who rebels against the world of rich and powerful people.

This is the reason why his Girl with a Balloon was destroyed by a mechanism hidden in its frame, after being sold for USD 1.251.423, astonishing the world of rich and powerful people and, I would add, of all those who do not pay much attention to contemporary art.

Because, apart from the expedient – which is more related to artisanship than to art – and the quality of the work, the point is: the buyer should have insisted on receiving also the person with the remote control (was it a man, a woman, or Bansky himself?), the one who activated the mechanism.

Because that person, too – or rather, above all – is part of the work of art.

To bring home the shredded painting is not enough, because the performance consists in the process.

And the process involves the subject who activated the remote control.

Otherwise, the work is incomplete.

Unless there was a programmed timer inside the frame capable of activating the shredder at that specific moment, which is not what happened.

This is the question: who did it? Was it Bansky himself? Or somebody else?

It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was a person in the flesh who pressed the button of the remote control that activated the shredder at Sotheby’s in London, on October 5, 2018.

And when the painting was sold, that person, too, should have been given to the purchaser, together with the work of art of which he or she was clearly a part.

And that would have been interesting!

To bring home both the person and the work of art. And then to support him or her. To support him or her until when Girl with a Balloon was sold to another purchaser!

That would have been really worthy of being called “against”.

But no.

Everyone focused on the shredder, without asking themselves who activated it.

To conclude: the trick of the work of art that destroys itself is, in fact, just a trick.

And tricks automatically belittle the concept.

This being said, dear Bansky, why don’t we put an end to the story of anonymity?

Bansky, reveal yourself and show us your face!

Otherwise, you run the risk of passing for one of those keyboard lions (lions?) who get angry with the world while hiding themselves behind ordinary nicknames.

But, perhaps, in the age of the internet, to hide oneself adds value to the person.

Perhaps, in the age of the web, to be “against the system” counts more than to be a real artist.

Carlo Vanoni

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