Banksy in Rome
Until April 11, 2021 at the Cloister of Bramante, the king of street-art lands in Italy
It should have been set up last March, in full lockdown, Banksy. A Visual Protest, the exhibition open until April 11, 2021 at the Chiostro del Bramante, in Rome.
The exhibition in Rome on Banksy is unmissable for at least two reasons: the 90 works on display are all certified by Pest Control, the company authorized to authenticate the works of the British street artist; and the path winds through one of the most prestigious sixteenth-century buildings in Rome, which recently hosted the exhibition on William Turner and the one on Bacon and Freud.
In addition, in the year of the anniversary of Raphael's death, the occasion lends itself to the comparison between the famous storyteller of our time Banksy and the sublime interpreter of the Renaissance, thanks to the view of the fresco of the Sibyls and Angels which can be enjoyed from a small room adjacent to the exhibition.
Naturally, we start with the icon of icons, "Girl with balloon", the girl with the red balloon from 2002: the original work was auctioned at Sotheby's (worth 1.2 million pounds) and immediately half destroyed itself with a complex garbage disposal machine hidden in the frame.
There is the whole series of rats, compared to street artists (they operate in the night leaving their mark), then there is the Monkey Queen of 2003, a monkey with the crown and the classic Elisabeth II pose: the outrage was shouted at both the Monarchy and the Union Jack, the British flag (Banksy could not have hoped for better).
The "Christ with Shopping Bags", a crucifix holding packages full of Christmas presents in his hands, was dazzling and dutifully disturbing, an atrocious denunciation of what Christmas is today.
Nobody knows for sure who Banksy is (he was probably born in Bristol in the early 70's). But one thing is certain: he is one of the greatest interpreters of our time.