by Samantha Longhi
When you look after what is happening in the street art field, I realize that much of the news revolves around the one who became an indisputable yet often contested star: Banksy. How surprised I was today when I realized that I had not given any “Stencil Of The Week” to the king of stencil art! Everyone talks about Banksy everywhere, both on the street, in museums, in auction houses or cinemas… all over the world. The phenomenon continues to be fascinating and for a good reason: genius.
Let’s look closely at one of his latest pieces in New York. We talk about British humor in general when we think Banksy, Monty Python and so forth.. but consider for a moment that Banksy could be one of the foremost theoreticians of street art to date? Making use of metaphor, he has already addressed many issues related to street art, such as branding through the rental of advertising space walls, the ongoing conflict between stencil/street art on one side and graffiti on the other, the concept of mimetic art. I can see how Banksy can be analytical at this point in his career. With his U.S. tour these past few weeks he has been able to show us that his analytical skills are sharp. Each piece is thought of in terms of its geographical location, Detroit differing from LA, etc.
Here in New York City : a doctor, his satchel in hand, is listening with his stethoscope placed in the heart of the famous logo created by Milton Glazer examining the love existing for the city of New York. This city, famous for its intellectuals, its writers, artists, filmmakers, is considered by some to be the European capital of the United States. Banksy plays with ambiguity; is the heart of the city of NYC sick or is the love we have for her wilting? In any case, Banksy reminds us how much the city continues to be a central concern of street artists.