In March, a stencilled graffiti work appeared on Thames Water tower in the middle of the Holland Park roundabout, and it was widely attributed to Banksy. It was of a child painting the tag "Take this—Society!" in bright orange. London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham spokesman, Councillor Greg Smith branded the art as vandalism, and ordered its immediate removal, which was carried out by H&F council workmen within three days.
Murals are important in that they bring art into the public sphere. Due to the size, cost, and work involved in creating a mural, muralists must often be commissioned by a sponsor. Often it is the local government or a business, but many murals have been paid for with grants of patronage. For artists, their work gets a wide audience who otherwise might not set foot in an art gallery. A city benefits by the beauty of a work of art.
The language originally spoken by the inhabitants was Picard, from which originated several expressions used by fishermen. Although it has now retreated before standard French, there are still those who seek to preserve it. Berck has a language association, T'yn souvyin tu? and there have been linguistic studies of the local dialect. These include the poet Edouard Grandel's Lexique du patois berckois (Université de Picardie, Amiens, 1980), Lucien Tétu's Glossaire du parler de Berck (Société de linguistique picarde, 1981) and his À l'écoute des Berckois : Dictons et proverbes, sobriquets (Société de linguistique picarde, 1988). The Picard dialect poet Ivar Ch'Vavar was born in the town in 1951 and, though he now lives in Amiens, has often written about it, most notably in Berck (un poème), published in 1997.
Painters joined the 19th century Parisian visitors to the town and passed on news of their discovery to fellow artists in the capital. One of the most notable was Édouard Manet, who passed a summer there with his family in 1873. Among the twenty paintings he made were depictions of boats at sea and the beachscape now in the Musée d'Orsay. Eugène Boudin first visited in 1874 and over the next twenty years made Berck the subject of some 120 paintings. He was followed in 1876 by Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic, who was so taken with the place that he set up a studio there and until 1885 devoted some six months of the year to recording the area and the fisherman's life.
Banksy opened Dismaland, a large scale group show modelled on Disneyland on 21 August 2015. It lampooned the many disappointing temporary themed attractions in the UK at the time. Dismaland permanently closed on 27 September 2015. The "theme park" was located in Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom. According to the Dismaland website, artists represented on the show include Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer.
The Mexican mural movement in the 1930s brought a new prominence to murals as a social and political tool. Diego Rivera, José Orozco and David Siqueiros were the most famous artists of the movement. Between 1932 and 1940, Rivera also painted murals in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. In 1933, he completed a famous series of twenty-seven fresco panels entitled Detroit Industry on the walls of an inner court at the Detroit Institute of Arts. During the McCarthyism of the 1950s, a large sign was placed in the courtyard defending the artistic merit of the murals while attacking his politics as "detestable."
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2018 saw Banksy return to New York five years after his Better Out Than In residency. A trademark rat running around the circumference of a clock-face, dubbed Rat race, was torn down by developers within a week of it appearing on a former bank building at 101 West 14th Street, but other works, including a mural of imprisoned kurdish artist Zehra Doğan on the famed Bowery Wall and a series of others across Brooklyn, remain on display.
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In December 2009, Banksy marked the end of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference by painting four murals on global warming. One included the phrase, "I don't believe in global warming;" the words were submerged in water. A feud and graffiti war between Banksy and King Robbo broke out when Banksy allegedly painted over one of Robbo's tags. The feud has led to many of Banksy's works being altered by graffiti writers.
In June 2016, a 14 ft painting of a child with a stick chasing a burning tyre was found in the Bridge Farm Primary School in Bristol with a letter from Banksy thanking the school for naming one of its houses after him. BBC News reported that a spokesman for Banksy confirmed that the artwork was genuine. In the letter, Banksy wrote that if the members of the school did not like the painting, they should add their own elements.
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