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Exploring ArtLID: A Portuguese Art Tour in Krakow

Updated: Jun 6

Although there is still a great deal of work to be done in preparation for the picture show linked with our journey to Poland, our art tour has concluded, which means that our beloved project ArtLID is also coming to an end.

Today, we reflect on our eight days in Poland and wonder how we ever got everything done. We remember seeing the Pope's city, the Salt Mine, Krakow's historical sites, Wadowice's shopping opportunities, and, most importantly, the Banksy exhibition. It's hard to believe that this artist rose from street thugs to become a major figure in street art.

We asked our team, made up of students from 2 schools - Escola BS PE C Professor Dr. Francisco de Freitas Branco, Porto Santo  and Escola da APEL to choose their favourite job

We get to know that the art pieces are social provocative criticism in painting and artistic installations that aboard themes like: politics, popular culture, social inequality and the environment.

Banksy thinks outside the box, creating his works in public spaces, questioning the rules in society. In his career, he gained a lot of fame, because the public feel generally attracted by his ironic critique tone, making people highlighting urgent questions in the present.

Summarizing, the works presented in the museum shows represent the artist’s relevance and work that continually challenge the expectations and inspire the new generations of artists.

Clara’s favorite piece:

-Show me the Monet (2005)

This piece is an emblematic work by Banksy.

This work depicts Claude Monet's famous painting "Water Lilies" which was vandalized.

In this painting, Banksy criticizes vigilantism and power by authorities in contemporary society, thus showing that art and creativity are constantly under surveillance and control.

In this work we can observe the contrast between the serenity seen in the painting and the aggressive presence of human objects.

Thus highlighting the contrast between freedom and control, nature and technology, art and authority.

And it was from this work by Banksy that questions the dynamics of power and surveillance, thus creating the perception of art and the world around us.

Provoking reflections on freedom of expression and the limits of creativity in an increasingly controlled society.

"I’ve been a big fan of Claude Monet’s work for a while, I love the way he paints. This painting being a reference to his works really caught my attention. Banksy caught the essentials of Monet’s work in such an incredible way that I couldn’t help noticing and appreciating. The colors itself look so mesmerizing and calmingI love how the shopping kart is introduced in the pretty nature of the drawing, showing how human trash can be all over, in any place"

Destina’s favorite piece:

-Flying copper (2003)

The painting depicts a police officer with wings as if he were flying, towards the sky, or as an angel.

The work is a criticism of the authority and excessive control exercised by the police over the population. The work presents several questions, such as:

the idea of ​​power, and hierarchy in society.

In view of this, the work also alludes to the notion of freedom and limitations.

Saying in an artistic and indirect way that even those with authority can be carried away by the force of the wind, thus proving a reflection and social, political questions.

"Banksy's "Smiling Copper" highlights the irony of police roles. Policemen should make people feel safe, but they often act as tools of oppression. The smiling face on the policeman's helmet contrasts with their intimidating presence, suggesting that behind their friendly facade, they evoke a feeling of fear rather than security and peace"

Júlia’s favorite work:

-Kate Moss for Sale (2003)

Banksy's Kate Moss print series pays homage to the king of Pop-Art, Andy Warhol, duplicating his iconic Marilyn Monroe silkscreened paintings with a contemporary twist. The 90s supermodel’s face is superimposed onto Monroe's hair; Moss is portrayed as Marilyn’s modern-day equivalent, both being sex symbols of their respective eras.

It questions the value of art, power relations in the fashion industry and the cult of celebrities, thus criticizing the way in which public figures are often transformed into objects of consumption.

The work challenges the viewer in every way to think about the purpose of art in a world that is increasingly saturated with commercial images and messages.

"I really liked the work because it used the screen printing technique and also because it is related to Pop Art.The color composition and contrast is striking. The allusion made to it representing Marilyn made it my favorite painting (work)These pictures made me reflect on a consumer society and that if it were today it wouldn't change much, as women still suffer from various pressures from society"

Soraia’s favorite piece:

-Dove of Peace (2005)

This piece by Banksy is on a building of Bethlehem and is often grouped with the series of works placed on the Israeli West bank wall during Banksy’s 2005 visit. It features a dove, the iconic symbol of peace, but it is dressed in a bullet proof vest with a red target on its chest.

Banksy, known for his social and political critiques, uses the pigeon — a universal symbol of peace — to highlight the fragility and vulnerability of peace in a world surrounded by conflict.

The work can be interpreted as a reflection on how peace is often the target of attacks and how, in many cases, even symbols of peace need to be protected. In short, Banksy provokes a deep reflection on security, violence and peace in our society.

"I like how Banksy represents this peace symbol with a bullet proof vest, trying to show how all these wars are just inappropriate and unnecessary and that we should just come to peace with everyone"

Diana’s favorite piece:

-A rat leaving a pipe (???)

This work with a rat coming out of a tube is one of many representations of the artist who uses rats as symbols in many of his works. Banksy often paints rats as a metaphor for the human condition and society, symbolizing resistance, rebellion, and the persistent nature of the marginalized.The rats that frequently appear in his artwork often appear in urban contexts, standing out as survivors. They are a representation of street artists who work without permission and often suffer persecution. Banksy himself described rats as creatures that "exist without permission" and are capable of "bringing down entire civilizations"

"In my opinion, this work reminds me of the city of Paris, since there are so many rats there. It's also a way of implying that rats live in the pipes"

Big thanks to our awesome Polish partner and Wadowickie Centrum Kultury for putting together our art trip in Poland and for bringing this fantastic project to life.

Check out more about the project!

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