Banksy got kicked out of the world’s biggest art event after crashing it to display his latest piece, but people love it anyway

Banksy set up a stall in St. Mark's Square with his latest painting,

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Banksy set up a stall in St. Mark’s Square with his latest painting, “Venice in Oil.”
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MARA GUGLIELMI/AFP/Getty Images

  • Banksy made an impromptu appearance at the Venice Biennale, the largest art event in the world, despite not receiving an invitation.
  • The controversial street artist displayed a new painting calling attention to Venice‘s struggles with overtourism at a stall in the Italian city’s famous St. Mark’s Square.
  • A video of the series of oil paintings entitled “Venice in Oil” was posted to Banksy’s official Instagram page. It also shows local police asking him to leave, and the stall being taken away.
  • Another piece in the style of many of Banksy’s other works also appeared alongside the canal Rio de Ca Foscari in recent days.
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The famed and mysterious street artist Banksy made an impromptu appearance at the Venice Biennale, the largest art event in the world, despite not receiving an invitation.

The British artist, who is well known for both his anonymity and his often politically charged and controversial graffiti masterpieces, set up a stall in the Italian city’s famous St. Mark’s Square to display his latest work, which he titled “Venice in Oil.”

Banksy set up a stall in St. Mark's Square with his latest painting,

caption
Banksy set up a stall in St. Mark’s Square with his latest painting, “Venice in Oil.”
source
MARA GUGLIELMI/AFP/Getty Images

The piece is comprised of nine separate framed canvases that depict a massive cruise ship floating in one of Venice’s canals and blocking the view of the city. The vessel is juxtaposed with the much smaller gondolas navigating the rest of the canal.

Read more: Banksy just pranked the art world with another stunt – here are his 30 cleverest creations

In a video of the stall posted on Banksy’s official Instagram account, local police appeared to order the “Balloon Girl” artist to pack up his stall and leave the plaza.

“You have to go away,” one policeman says. “You can’t stay here.”

Banksy’s painting sheds light on Venice’s ongoing struggle with “Europe’s worst tourism crisis,” which threatens its infrastructure, culture, and local residential population, as an April 2019 article on The Guardian has pointed out.

Cruise ships, like the one featured in Banksy’s latest piece, have been a major point of contention in Venice. As The Guardian reported, Venetians staged a protest in 2016 in an attempt to stop large cruise ships from passing through the city’s Giudecca Canal.

Though his tenure at the Biennale appears to have been short-lived, Banksy may have left his mark on Venice with another piece. A spray painting in the style of many of Banksy’s other works appeared alongside the canal Rio de Ca Foscari in recent days. The painting depicts a child gripping a pink flare.

This spray painting in Venice looks like it could have been created by British artist Banksy.

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This spray painting in Venice looks like it could have been created by British artist Banksy.
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MARCO SABADIN/AFP/Getty Images

This isn’t the first time Banksy has made the news in recent months. In October 2018, he pranked the art world with one of his paintings that shredded itself immediately after it was sold for more than $1 million at an auction. And at the beginning of 2019, another of his works was stolen from the Bataclan theatre in Paris.

Representatives for the Venice Biennale did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.