Banksy needs no introduction in the world of street art. Every piece he creates has a deep insight into questioning humans’ foolish pride. The man knows how to nudge the sensitive vein to create a stir in the neighbourhood. With his dark humour, one experiences a tumult, triggering the subconscious mind which we verbalize on dinner tables and little bars in the alleys.
One of his latest murals represents the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. A vulnerable, concerned and innocent girl is shown spray painting a damask-like pattern over a swastika in Paris. The girl is coloured in grey and so is her surroundings (the teddy bear and the blankets) reflecting on the refugees’ situation. The girl is sombre and feared yet she is painting her gloomy world with the deep pink colour of damasks urging to stop the hatred.
Another piece is a sarcastic jab at French’s leadership. Banksy has cleverly depicted the neoclassical painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps by artist Jacques-Louis David of making a noteworthy change by covering the entire face of the man with a red cloth. Emmanuel Macron, the French president might have an opinion on this one.
The third mural is a classic depiction of how capitalism functions and nurtures greed. This modern form of slavery needs concrete curbing or else this inhuman ridicule and absurdity will continue.
The other pieces represent the surreptitious artist’s signature rats. The couple on their way to visit the Eiffel Tower or the stealthy rat with a mask on the large billboard and others rollicking in the streets of Paris is a homage to the birthplace of modern stencil art first uprising in 1968.
The moral compass of any society is a mere modern joke which submits itself to the ridiculous vagaries of the politicians and Banksy is not shy of exposing it.
It is imperative for an artist to awaken the disinherited crowd and make them the participants in their displayed imagery. Banksy fiddles with the fragile hearts and questions the authoritarian figures through his art. The moral compass of any society is a mere modern joke which submits itself to the ridiculous vagaries of the politicians and Banksy is not shy of exposing it. I just realised the whiskey tastes better without the ice.