'The Louise Michel' by Banksy (after), 2020
Based on the artist's Mediterranean rescue ship The Louis Michel by Post Modern Vandal.
Sold out blue deckled variant.
13 x 17 Inches
Screen print on museum quality 308gsm Hahnemühle fine art paper.
Limited Edition of 85 (RARE Printer's Proof #PP)
Special hand-stamped artist signature in gold.
Hand-embossed and hand-numbered by Post Modern Vandal.
Also includes Certificate of Authenticity with Unique QR Verification System decal.
ABOUT THE ART
In perhaps his most ambitious activist gesture yet, the anonymous British street artist funds a rescue boat to save refugees stranded on the Mediterranean Sea.
This year alone, more than 19,500 migrants have successfully fled war-torn Libya, embarking on a risky voyage across the Mediterranean Sea on cramped lifeboats to reach European entry points in Italy and Malta. Unfortunately, not every migrant makes it—according to the International Organization for Migration, Libyan authorities have intercepted more than 7,600 escapees, who then face persecution and human rights violations at detention camps upon their return. The coronavirus has only made matters worse, causing a 149 percent uptick in migrant arrivals on Italian shores.
Sea Watch, a German NGO that patrols the Mediterranean to rescue migrants, often embarks on search-and-rescue missions. Aiding its recent migration efforts is a bright pink motor yacht commissioned by Banksy, who has long championed social causes beyond his politically tinged street murals. The anonymous British artist first announced his intention to purchase a migrant rescue boat this past fall, and ended up acquiring a former French Navy vessel, named Louise Michel after the French feminist anarchist, using proceeds from recent sales of artworks about the migrant crisis. After learning that Italian authorities impounded a ship helmed by Pia Klemp, a German biologist and Sea Watch captain who recently made headlines after an online petition protested her potential 20-year prison sentence for rescuing more than 1,000 migrants from the Mediterranean, Banksy offered to replace it.
According to The Guardian, Klemp initially thought Banksy’s offer was a joke. “I’ve read about your story in the papers. You sound like a badass,” he wrote in an email. “I am an artist from the UK and I’ve made some work about the migrant crisis. Obviously I can’t keep the money. Could you use it to buy a new boat or something?” Klemp then assembled a team of ten anti-fascist, anti-racist activists to spearhead the Louise Michel, which discreetly set sail from the Spanish seaport of Burriana on August 18 to rescue 89 distressed migrants stranded on a rubber dinghy in the middle of the Mediterranean. Banksy’s involvement in the mission has been limited to providing financial support.