In 2007, the British street artist Banksy painted a rat with a slingshot in the West Bank, ostensibly to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestine. He spray-painted the work on the concrete wall of an abandoned Israeli military outpost near the towering “apartheid wall” that Israel built around the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Now, the work has appeared at Israel’s Urban Gallery in an upscale neighborhood of Tel Aviv near the city’s financial district.
Art dealer Koby Abergel, who works with the Urban Gallery, said he purchased the painting from a “Palestinian associate” but did not disclose the seller’s identity nor the painting’s cost, according to the Associated Press. Abergel said that Palestinians had cut the painting from its original location and that his “associate” transported it to Tel Aviv in the middle of the night without coordination from the Israeli military, also arguing that the entire transaction was legal. Hyperallergic was unable to reach Abergel for comment and the Associated Press was unable to confirm his story.
The emergence of the painting in Tel Aviv sparked the anger of Palestinians. “This is theft of the property of the Palestinian people,” a spokesperson for the Palestinian Tourism Ministry told the Associated Press. “These were paintings by an international artist for Bethlehem, for Palestine, and for visitors to Bethlehem and Palestine.”
In order to arrive in Tel Aviv, the painting — made on a 900-pound piece of concrete — had to pass through an Israeli military checkpoint.
The International Court of Justice declared Israel’s separation wall illegal in 2004 and it has been repeatedly condemned by other countries and the United Nations for its violations of human rights. (In 2017, former US President Donald Trump pointed to the fence as inspiration for his wall along the United States-Mexico border.)
In 2017, Banksy opened his Walled Off Hotel inside the fenced area in Bethlehem, overlooking an Israeli military checkpoint. In a 2019 work at his hotel, Banksy created a politicized nativity scene that depicts the looming fence. The hotel’s website also makes no secret of Bansky’s thoughts on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
Hyperallergic was unable to reach Banksy’s representative for comment, but the painting’s journey seems to represent some of the very themes that the artist has sought to illuminate through his art.
Lebanese art dealer Georges Lotfi, who once helped authorities seize looted antiquities, is now accused of doing his own share of trafficking too.
An exhibition depicts how people have reimagined the medieval period in the centuries since, and how they have revealed their own interests and ideals with each new interpretation.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
During his 84-year life, Liu Shiming helped shape a new Chinese cultural image rooted in the contributions and sacrifices of everyday people.
Playing at several film festivals this late summer, Ana Vaz’s It Is Night in America asks the viewer to take on unusual perspectives.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The sealant used for gem-crusted ancient Maya teeth had medicinal properties that prevent tooth infections and decay, according to a new study.
Patrons can listen to a collection of 400 titles at the library and borrow them for up to three weeks.
The Los Angeles-based photographer offers an updated version of the mythologized American cowboy, calling rodeos “the traditional drag of America.”
At its core Line Berg’s Fra Far manifests the anguish of a family whose loved one is convicted of a serious crime.
At first, simply watching people read In Search of Lost Time might seem dull; by the end, you’ll be itching to read or reread it yourself.