There Is a New Banksy Mural in Venice

May 24, 2019

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Arguably the most popular and unarguably the most mysterious street artist in the world — Banksy — continues to keep everyone on their toes, doing the unexpected while remaining completely anonymous. This time, Banksy’s art has appeared in Venice, and it’s addressing some compelling topics.

One image seems to be of a young migrant child signaling for help with neon pink flare gas. The piece was found on a weathered wall leading to Campo San Pantalon in Dorsoduro. The artist posted an image of the art — caption-less — on his or her verified Instagram page.

But that mural was not the full extent of the Banksy shenanigans in Venice. The Venice Biennale event, deemed by Banksy as “the largest and most prestigious art event in the world,” is currently going on in the city of canals. Because the exhibition has yet to invite Banksy, the street artist decided to show up to display his art, despite being unwelcome. Ultimately, officials kicked the artist out of the event, as seen in a video posted on Banksy’s Instagram.

The video shows Banksy artwork — a little different from the wall art we’re used to — being set up by who we assume to be Banksy him- or herself (the person’s face is never shown), but some speculate that it is a hired actor. The art, titled “Venice in Oil,” is a conglomerate of frames of differing sizes that make up one large piece displaying small gondolas and gondola guides in the presence of an enormous and overbearing cruise ship.

There’s no doubt that this piece was commentary on the intrusive nature of overtoursim that has increasingly become an issue in Venice specifically. Recently, the problem has been so great that the city has enforced new regulations and fines for tourists who behave badly. For those who don’t follow the rules, the city has threatened to kick out uncooperative visitors.

Featured image of Banksy’s Venice in Oil piece at Venice Biennale by MARA GUGLIELMI/AFP/Getty Images.

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