Banksy Holds Christmas Alternativity in Bethlehem

To celebrate the first Christmas of The Walled Off Hotel in Palestine, Banksy held an alternative production of the traditional Nativity play – The Alternativity.

Banksy-The-Alternativity-BBC-Two-Documentary-Street-Art-Walled-Off-HotelThe performance took place on 3rd December in the car park of the hotel, which received the Leading Culture Destinations’ Art Hotel of The Year 2017 award, and was filmed by the BBC for a documentary, set to air on BBC Two on Sunday 17th December.

BBC News reports that the channel’s controller, Patrick Holland, ‘said the programme would show “a challenging and provocative exploration of a story that speaks to young and old alike.”

The documentary will feature behind-the-scenes footage and follow the production process during the six-week period the directors were given to put the play together.

The Alternativity was directed by both the artist Riham Isaac, who was born near Bethlehem, where the street artist’s hotel is located, and the Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle.

Banksy-Cherubs-West-Bank-Alternativity-Walled-Off-Hotel-Street-ArtHaving earned an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmith’s University in London, Riham Isaac describes herself as a ‘theatre maker-performance artist-actress’. She has been acting since 2006 and has created, or co-created, many dance and theatre pieces, including the critically-acclaimed experimental play without words, 48 Minutes For Palestine, which has toured internationally. The talented young director also recently opened a new art salon in her hometown of Beit-Sahour to encourage the local community to become involved with and engaged in the arts.

Danny Boyle is more of a household name given the Mancunian’s directorial CV boasts an impressive roster of big-screen hits including Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and Shallow Grave.

Whilst Boyle likely encountered reams of red tape in his position as artistic director for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, putting together a play featuring local children, actors and employing local crew, within such a short space of time on the West Bank was undoubtedly trying for the pair. Boyle – who confessed to never having met Banksy despite it being his project – spoke to the BBC of the “many restrictions” they faced.

Of course the whole Christmas extravaganza would not be complete with some promotional artwork from its mastermind. Two new Banksy street art pieces were installed ahead of the event, with an exclusive original chalk and stencil-style illustration, featuring a drone watching over a traditional nativity scene, being created especially for the BBC documentary.


Banksy – Peace on Earth* *Terms and conditions apply – December 2017

If you are interested in buying or selling genuine authenticated Banksy prints or original art works, please contact the Theodorus Gallery team directly.

Posted in Artist updates, Uncategorised on 12th December 2017 – 0 Comments
Share this article

New Banksy Graffiti Celebrates Barbican Basquiat Exhibition

Banksy graffiti Basquiat street art exhibition boom for real barbicanTwo new pieces of street art have been installed on the walls of London’s Barbican Centre by Banksy. Celebrating the arts centre’s forthcoming Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition, his graffiti mixes the iconic New York artist’s signature style with his own classic stencil work.

But, this being Banksy, there is a duality to the work. The Barbican, despite being one of the UK’s foremost creative hubs and known internationally for supporting artistic talent in a variety of fields, has a zero tolerance policy towards graffiti.

Whilst now often regarded as an exponent of fine, contemporary art, Basquiat started as a graffiti pioneer who came up through the influential underground art scene of 1980’s New York. He was part of a leading graff movement and first started exhibiting his works by installing them on the walls of New York’s SoHo, around major art galleries, so that influential gallery owners and art collectors would see them.

It seems the irony of this is not lost on Banksy who captioned a photo of one of his new works on Instagram: ‘Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican – a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.’

Banksy Basquiat street art exhibition boom for real barbicanAnother aspect that can be read into the thought-provoking piece of a Basquiat figure being subject to a ‘stop and search’ encounter with the police, is the subject of racism. This, and how race is portrayed, were frequent themes of African-American Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work. On posting a photograph of the work to his Instagram account, Banksy captioned the image: ‘Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show.’

Boom For Real is the first large scale exhibition of Basquiat’s work and explores his full body of work, from graffiti to fine art. It also documents the artist’s part in the influential pop art movement and his friendship with collaborator Andy Warhol, through contemporary Maripol’s polaroids.

Basquiat: Boom For Real runs from 21st September 2017 to 28th January 2018 at the Barbican Art Gallery.

Posted in Artist updates, Uncategorised on 20th September 2017 – 0 Comments
Share this article