Planning A Summer Vacation? UK Street Artist Banksy Recommends Gaza

By on May 1, 2015

It’s gonna be a hot summer, and we can’t wait to see what street artist Banksy is going to come up with next.  Three months ago, he slipped into Gaza and and created these fantastic murals. On his website, Banksy said he had wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on his website, “but on the Internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

Besides the kitten and the weeping goddess, Banksy painted another mural in Gaza that shows children swinging from an Israeli military watchtower as if it were a carousel.“ A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?‘, but we think the work speaks for itself, don’t you?

Here’s an excerpt from today’s NYT article: “Banksy Finds a Canvas and a New Fan Base in Gaza’s Ruins”:

Very little of Abu Shadi Shenbari’s family home remains in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. Only a concrete bathroom wall was left standing when Israeli forces flattened the neighborhood near the border with Israel last summer.

Though Mr. Shenbari had all but abandoned that last panel of erect concrete, in recent days he began building a wood and wire-mesh fort with a flimsy nylon roof to protect the bombed-out bathroom wall, which is now home to a 10-foot-tall depiction of a kitten.

The spray-painted mural was created by the elusive British graffiti artist Banksy, who slipped in and out of Gaza in February, leaving his mark on three slabs of rubble left from Israel’s 50-day fight with Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza.

Gaza residents, largely preoccupied with the slow pace of reconstruction after a cold and wet winter in this impoverished and isolated Palestinian strip, have been waking up to the value of the Banksy artworks that appeared amid the ruins.

“If I had enough money, I would buy a glass showcase and put it in there,” Mr. Shenbari said by telephone of the now celebrated mural. “I would turn it into a museum so that the Americans and people from other countries could come and visit it. For me, it is Palestinian heritage.”

(h/t New York Times)

Banksy’s image of a weeping Greek goddess on an iron door (Mohammed Saber/European Pressphoto Agency)

A Banksy mural showing children swinging from an Israeli military watchtower as if it were a swing carousel (Mohammed Saber/European Pressphoto Agency)

A bathroom wall on which Banksy painted a kitten (Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.