By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently collaborated with the reclusive European artist known as “Banksy” to create “Kinetic Art with a Shred of Decency” in their latest project promising to combine political intrigue with a slap in the face to the billion dollar art auction industry.
Matthew Ruhrapentay, a NYC based critic, praised the “inherent irony that these two artists could achieve such synchronicity” in composing their latest contribution, saying: “A Speaker who shreds the President’s Speech at the closing gavel of the House of Representatives, who better than to partner with a reclusive artist who shredded a million dollar painting just as the gavel dropped at an auction house? Magnifico!”
The first half of the impetus for the partership of Speaker Pelosi and Banksy begain in October of 2018 when Sotheby’s offered for auction a framed depiction of his famous “Balloon Girl” painting which upon the auctioneer proclaiming a winner to the one million pound award, sounded an alarm within the frame and self-shredded the painting using a hidden paper shredder–much to the chagrin of all involved. Astonishingly, appraisers valued the painting afterward at a 50% premium resulting from all the attention the artist’s prank garnered.
The latter part was President Trump’s 2020 “State of the Union” address, and the spectacle created by some of Speaker Pelosi’s gestures
In an interview along with Banksy, she, and former CNN fashion correspondant Elsa Klensch, Speaker Pelosi lamented that it was during the SOTU address where she found the inspiration to collaborate with Banksy:
“So there I sat behind the president, fidgeting with my copy of his speech, all I could think of was summoning my inner rage and tearing that pack of lies to shreads. But my tired old fingers failed me once again. If I only had a shredder I thought, if I only had my Banksy.”
Ms. Pelosi said she had a calling to complete herself as an artist, though she needed a partnership. Banksy was such a man. But where to find him? As he is a bit of a recluse and anonymous. She attempted at first to use her connections with the FBI to obtain a FISA Court warrant to compel Sotheby’s to disclose Banksy’s identity and e-Mail address, but an unnamed George Washington University official thwarted that effort and the cat was out of the bag. Fortunately, Banksy’s e-Mail address was available on a home-brew mail server hosted in an upstairs closet of a former presidential candidate who was more than willing to provide this information, of course for the requisite fee.
Speaker Pelosi did not know at first how to approach Banksy, who though apprehensive initially with this out of the blue e-Mail from a famous American Politician, after the initial exchange of messages, he lamented embarassingly that he never watches politics on T.V. He did not know what she looked like. This might complicate things at their first meeting. Plus, the recluse feared he might be publically exposed by being seen with such a famous person. Nancy allayed his worry, saying “let’s meet in Hyde Park. I will be in disguise, but you will know who I am.”
Banksy then interjected, “Yes, Nancy. I remember that day well. Hundreds of people milling about, who could this Nancy Pelosi be? And then I saw a woman wearing a lapis lazuli coloured headscarf with a large pearl earring, just like Vermeer himself had painted her. She was tearing strips of paper. I knew she must be this American.”
During the Hyde Park encounter they discussed what would be their first creation. It had to be a melding of the two minds but this proved difficult. Pelosi could only think of tearing the President apart, and Banksy could only think of this not being a profitable venture, chiding her with “Show me the Monet!“
Still, it was not long before the two arrived at success and to the world they brought their first rendition. Pictured above, it is titled “State of Disunion”. The piece is a framed work in the style of Balloon Girl yet bold enough to pre-shred the painting, leaving nothing to the imagination. The words State of Dis-union are the only feature of the painting. Banksy explains, “I used an American art-deco style font to express the comparatively harmonious Pre-McCarthy era of U.S. politics and below the frame I used a Clockwork Orange style of font in blood red colour to symbolize the horrorshow politics of today, and as a tribute to Stanley Kubrick.”
When asked about the possibility of perhaps auctioning State of Disunion Ms. Pelosi stated they already had secured a buyer. But when asked if collectors might be able to view her next collaborative work, the speaker was much more circumspect:
“You have to bid at the auction before you can find out what’s in it.”
It appears that the world will just have to wait until the gavel drops before we can experience again the artists collectively known as Polanksy.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.