On June 20, World Refugee Day, elusive street artist Bansky decided to speak directly to French President Emmanuel Macron through his art. In six different locations around Paris, Bansky left murals that reference Macron’s campaign to “get migrants off France’s streets and out of forest hideouts.” It is clear from the artist’s work that he has strong opinions about the current political situation in the country.
The Daily Mail reports that the first piece depicts a girl painting over a swastika using a pink Victoria pattern. It appears to be a reference to the artist’s 2008 work, entitled “Go Flock Yourself.” Reportedly, the mural criticizes the French government’s seemingly migrant policies, which some have labeled as fascist. The girl is located near the Porte de la Chapelle metro station. The site was the city’s official refugee centre “La Bulle” until August 2017.
The second mural is a Bansky interpretation of the iconic painting “Napoleon Crossing the Alps.” Observers are unsure if it is mocking Macron, blindly leading the country.
The third mural shows a man feeding a bone to a legless dog. The work seeks to portray the idea that politicians are tricking the masses.
The last three works all feature rats. As Bored Panda points out, rats are the artist’s signature stencil and were inspired by Parisian artist Blek Le Rat. The rodents represent the working class and the way ordinary people can make a difference when they collaborate.
Art historian and street art expert Paul Ardenne is confident the works are Banksy’s. He said,
“The color, the line, the subject and the way he has adapted the images from photos… all point to them being Banksy’s style during the 2000s. There is a very particular signature. If [the mural of the girl] is not by Banksy, it is a very good copy.”
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