Banksy returned recently with an unlicensed street stall in Italy, offering a tableau of oil painting to unsuspecting passers-by near the ongoing Venice Art Biennale. A video of “Venice in Oil” was posted on the mysterious artist’s Instagram recently, showing an unidentified figure setting up and manning the stall as pedestrians comment on the work. The artist’s installation was accompanied by another work, a stenciled mural of a migrant child, a likely continuation of his work surrounding refugees in Europe.
Berlin-based artist Vermibus shocks passersby with haunting public interventions, in which he replaces fashion advertisements with his own manipulated versions. To create the staggering, sometimes startling images, Vermibus splashes a solvent across the printed surface. The chemical reaction causes the faces and flesh of models, as well as the logos and brands they represent, to wash away. This process can be viewed in a video produced by Open Walls Gallery in Berlin.
Chilean artist Jose Romussi adds embroidery to paper photographs to extracts a third dimension, and thus a nascent personality, out of an otherwise flat image. By doing so, Romussi opens space for alternative interpretations and methods of viewing a staged image. The artist refers to his work as an “intervention,” and in many ways, his intentions are similar to other contemporary artists who use yarn as a method of interrupting the norm. Like “Yarn Bombing,” which is often performed as a softer act of graffiti in public places, Romussi’s compositions attempt to re-define notions of beauty while simultaneously drawing attention to social issues, such as the re-appropriation of African patterns and other non-Western traditions in high fashion.
Joaquin Jara is versatile. Born in Barcelona, he studied art at La Llotja, in Barcelona, and the Camberwell College of Arts in London. He finished neither. Why should he? He knew precisely what he was doing.