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Bethlehem, the biblical birthplace of Jesus, is a city in the Occupied Palestinian Territories besieged behind Israel’s massive, 25-feet-high wall, military watchtowers, and checkpoints.
To highlight this reality, British street artist Banksy created a “modified nativity set” titled the “Scar of Bethlehem.”
The new artwork reinterprets the biblical manger scene as occurring against the backdrop of the modern concrete barrier, which appears punctured with a blast that created the shape of a star.
The concrete wall piece is graffitied with the words “love” and “peace” in English and French. Three wrapped Christmas presents are positioned in front of the sculpture as part of the installation.
“It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way — to make people think more,” said Wissam Salsaa, the Walled Off Hotel’s manager, in an interview with the BBC.
“Banksy is trying to be a voice for those that cannot speak,” he added.
Banksy has in the past created a number of works on the separation wall itself. At his hotel’s gift shop, miniature wall souvenirs are offered for sale (available only at the store).
The Walled Off Hotel describes the anonymous artist’s souvenirs on its website, writing, “Just in case you weren’t sure what Banksy thinks about the wall (not a fan) his latest range of ‘souvenir collectables’ anticipate the day the concrete menace has been defeated and feral youth scribble on its skeletal remains.”
In 2004, the International Court of Justice declared the Israeli barrier illegal. The court concluded that Israel could not rely on a right of self-defense to justify the barrier, and said it was not convinced the specific route chosen for the wall was necessary for security reasons. Palestinians claim that Israel has built the wall to serve one primary purpose: grabbing land.
The new generation of artists and curators is eager to explore alternative organizations and to tackle current social inequalities and issues.
Her female nudes were extraordinary for the time because she portrayed female sexual desire. Her subjects defied conventional ideals of femininity.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
Francis made over 10,000 artworks, starred in more than 100 solo exhibitions, and, in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, commanded the highest prices of any living painter.
Brian Blomerth’s Mycelium Wassonii deploys amazing graphic storytelling to share his own exploration of mushroom history
Over a century after Wright designed a workplace that borrowed features from the home, designers are at it again, but who does a homey office really serve?
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.
Sculptures of Oaxacan alebrijes, envisioned as guardians of the nation’s immigrant community, and catrinas, Day of the Dead skeletons, are now at Rockefeller Center.