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Swiss Farmer Wins Contest to Show Picasso on His Barn

April 18th, 2019

A Swiss farmer, Hanspeter Benz has won a competition by the Fondation Beyeler to hang a Picasso in his barn for 24 hours. The work was shown in Benz’s barn on April 16th.
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Chicago Artists Coalition Releases List of Micro-Grant Recipients

April 18th, 2019

The Chicago Artists Coalition has unveiled its list of 15 Chicago-based artists who will receive its first-ever round of micro-grants, which come with unrestricted purses of $2,000 each.  “We have truly visionary artists living and working in every neighborhood across the city. We hope that this new line of support will help bring some of their visions to life, for their individual benefit and that of their broader communities,” says Tracie D. Hall, director of the Joyce Foundation’s culture program.
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Anne Pasternak Gives Tour of Her BK Museum Office

April 18th, 2019

Brooklyn Museum head Anne Pasternak gives NY Magazine a tour of her office, showcasing her art collection, which includes work by Kiki Smith and Kara Walker, and shares a story about a graffiti artist showing up to paint part of her wall.  “So one day he shows up in a clown outfit, complete clown outfit, doesn’t say a word, has a bucket with spray paint in it, puts down a tarp, paints for twenty minutes and leaves, never said a word,” she says.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Banksy


Always Hope, Banksy, via Banksy Official Website

Details of Banksy’s life remain to be completely confirmed – though exhaustive efforts have been undertaken by various sources to nail down this street artist’s identity. What is certain is that Banksy was born and raised in England, has worked with various crews of grafitti artists since he was a teen, and currently maintains, paradoxically, a high-status anonymity in both the art world and the public’s imagination.


Flower, pictured here with construction workers, Banksy, via Banksy Official Website

In an effort to dodge street police, Banksy adopted innovative stencils to create his now-signature works. They allowed for much faster application on public surfaces that have included the walls of zoos, hospitals, tunnels, and otherwise unremarkable locales. However in recent years, he has also traveled around the world, gaining international attention with tags in various countries, including the controversial West Bank territory.


Have a Nice Day, political image using iconic smiley face, Banksy, via Banksy Official Website

His work incorporates satire, images of animals, small children, British references of Royal Guards and Queen Victoria, anti-war messages, riffs on classic paintings, etc. Sneaking into famous museums like the Metropolitan in New York and the Louvre in Paris to personally hang up his works is one well-known Banksy stunt.


Maid, Banksy, with his wall-exposing illusion,  via Datscool

Banksy has, however, had gallery showings of his work, and the artist has taken on commercial projects, like the design of Blur’s album cover. Celebrities such as Christina Aguilera and Angelina Jolie have purchased his pieces for sums of up to approximately $500,000, while other works consistently sell at high prices through venues, including Sotheby’s. His art has accumulated so much value that owners of walls with his graffiti have actually auctioned them off to the highest bidder.


Image of rat found in Austria, Banksy, via Graffiti


Monkey image with the artist’s signature in the corner, Banksy, via Daily Mail

Regardless of Banksy’s much-contested value as an artist, his influence on the boom of street art in both the fine arts market and contemporary culture cannot be denied. The artist displays his drawings and “indoor” works on his website, Banksy.co.uk, and also offers published books of his art.


Queen Victoria canvas, Banksy, purchased by Christina Aguilera, via Luxist


Pissing Guard, in England, Banksy via Current

Banksy Books: