Until April 14 2019 – The Art of BANKSY. A VISUAL PROTEST. Banksy, a British artist and writer whose identity is still unknown, is considered one of the leading exponents of contemporary street art. His works are often laced with satire and deal with universal subjects such as politics, culture, and ethics. The shroud of mystery that, by choice and out of necessity, is perpetuated when we talk about Bansky has turned him into an absolute legend of our day and age.
His visual protest engages with a vast and heterogeneous public and has made him one of the best loved artists among the younger generations. Although many Bansky exhibitions have been organized by art galleries and other exhibition spaces, a public Italian museum has never hosted a monographic exhibition of his work. Until now that is. For the first time ever, the MUDEC-Museo delle Culture di Milano is hosting a retrospective on the British artist’s work.
There is much speculation about his name and his identity. He was born and grew up in Bristol, but apart from this little or nothing is known about him: it is impossible to find out the details of his life although many have attempted to do so. Gianni Mercurio, curator of the exhibition, recalls how one characteristic the “writers” of yesterday (the artists who in early seventies New York sprayed the first graffiti on the exteriors of the subway carriages and later on the walls of the New York stations) share with today’s street artists is their multicultural origins. The first writers “came from various New York neighbourhoods with diverse communities (the blacks of Harlem, the Hispanics and Italians of the Bronx and the lower East Side). It is no accident that the primary effect of their expression was the invention of a new style of writing that previously didn’t exist, an amalgam of many lettering styles from Arabic script to Western and Asian scripts.