Louise Michel, the story of the rescue boat financed by Banksy

Louise Michel, the story of the rescue boat financed by Banksy

Giulia Pacciardi · 2 years ago · Art

“Hello Pia, I’ve read about your story in the papers. You sound like a badass. 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? Please let me know. Well done. Banksy.”

With an email dated September 2019 and addressed to Captain Pia Klemp, begins the story of the Louise Michel, the humanitarian ship financed by Banksy.
A news, that of the artist’s involvement, voluntarily kept secret until yesterday, when the crew carried out the first rescues in the Central Mediterranean, a route considered among the most dangerous in the world.

Banksy and the entire crew, in fact, feared that by letting the news leak, the European authorities might hinder the mission, planned in secret between London, Berlin, and Burriana, where the ship flying the German flag docked to equip themselves for the rescues at sea.

Aboard the Louise Michel, a ship that owes its name to the French feminist and anarchist who lived in the 19th century, a crew of European activists, with long experience in search and rescue operations, left on August 18. They have already managed to rescue 89 people in danger, including 14 women and 4 children, and are now looking for a safe port to disembark passengers or transfer them to a European Coast Guard ship.

Painted in bright pink and with a work of art signed by Banksy depicting a young girl wrapped in a life jacket with a heart-shaped safety buoy, the 31-meter ship, previously owned by the French customs authorities, is smaller but faster than other rescue boats belonging to NGOs.
With a maximum speed of 27 knots, the Louise Michel would be able to pass the Libyan coast guard before it can reach the boats carrying refugees and migrants with the aim of taking them back to detention camps in Libya, places where, according to human rights organizations, torture, violence, and rape are a daily occurrence.

That of the Louise Michel is only the last of the interventions that try to prevent the deaths in the Mediterranean, there are many NGOs that also this year have engaged in relief activities but have been hampered by what they consider excessive and politically motivated inspections carried out by the Italian authorities, which were exacerbated by the advent of COVID-19.
In 2020, to date, more than 500 refugees and migrants have died in the Mediterranean, but it is estimated that the real number is considerably higher. 

Claire Faggianelli, an activist who prepared the Louise Michel for her first mission, sees this project, much more political than artistic, as a wake-up call for sleepy Europe:

“Look, we have been yelling at you for years now. There is something that shouldn’t be happening at the very borders of Europe, and you close your eyes to it. Wake up”, she said without too many, unfair, twists and turns.

Louise Michel, the story of the rescue boat financed by Banksy
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Louise Michel, the story of the rescue boat financed by Banksy
Louise Michel, the story of the rescue boat financed by Banksy
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“Okja” in ten frames

“Okja” in ten frames

Giulia Guido · 2 weeks ago · Art

Okja” is a 2017 film directed by Bong Joon-ho. Although it did not rake in awards like the subsequent “Parasite“, “Okja” ranks among the South Korean director’s best works and features an ensemble cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Lily Collins, Giancarlo Esposito, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The film tells the story of a young girl who for most of her life has raised a genetically modified “super pig,” building a bond of mutual affection with him. But their lives are set to change drastically as the industry that actually created the animal must take it back to begin the slaughtering process.
This is an exposing film against the mistreatment of animals within the meat industry that manages to deal with the topic by focusing on empathy and friendship. For this very reason in 2019 it was named one of the most influential films of the decade by the New York Times. 

In “Okja,” the state of mind of the protagonist and her animal are reflected in the colors of the sets and the choices related to the cinematography, curated by Darius Khondji (Seven, Midnight in Paris, Uncut Gems), which manage to completely capture the viewer. 

Okja
Okja
Okja
Okja
Okja
Okja
“Okja” in ten frames
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“Okja” in ten frames
“Okja” in ten frames
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The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA

The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA

Tommaso Berra · 2 weeks ago · Art

You know the sky on certain summer days, when you couldn’t find a cloud miles away and everything above our heads is a delicate blue, the color of the sweetest of spun sugars? Illustrator Kento IIDA finds in this atmosphere of calm the inspiration for his works, images of tranquil landscapes but leaving an atmosphere of suspicion, as if something unforeseen will happen soon, or as if something unforeseen has just happened, far from the eyes of possible witnesses.
In these vignettes there are always elements or signs that suggest a movement that breaks the calm, sometimes the movement has already happened or is in progress, as in the case of cars launching from bridges or space missiles lifting angular clouds to the sky like marble sculptures.

Kento IIDA (who is based in Tokyo) incorporates elements of Japanese tradition in his illustrations, thus traditional buildings and views of snow-capped peaks that hint at Mount Fuji appear in these ambiguous scenes, as well as baseball players, a national sport in Japan and probably the artist’s favorite.
There are not only clear skies in the views, however; poetry is also provided by clouds, often single and isolated, or by gloomy skies that sound like an omen, in an increasingly suspended and uncertain time.

Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
Kento IIDA | Collater.al
The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA
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The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA
The illusion of calm in the illustrations of Kento IIDA
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Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works

Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works

Tommaso Berra · 2 weeks ago · Art

Artistic expression is now no longer bound only to manual gesture, and in some cases not even to the artist’s choice. Vickie Vainionpää‘s works in fact follow that artistic strand in which works are the result of codes, of an algorithm that creates unpredictable solutions by reworking basic information. The Montreal-based artist creates his works through a generative code, which traces a certain number of points placed in a Cartesian plane.
The result is that of twisted shapes like guts or extraterrestrial organic creatures, in which even the color and shades are dictated by the generative code.

The forms are then the basis for oil paintings on canvas, in which the digital forms acquire a presence and matter through the texture of the support, the shadows and the layering of color. Some of these canvases are recently on display in New York at The Hole NYC gallery for the artist’s solo exhibition entitled “Software.”
In Vickie Vainionpää’s works, the relationship between man and machine merges, the physical and virtual experience become interconnected to the point of blurring the genesis of everything. Who creates? Who is created by whom? A series of questions that help read and complicate the present.

Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al
Vickie Vainionpää | Collater.al

Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works
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Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works
Vickie Vainionpää’s code-generated works
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Stefano Vitale trusted folk art

Stefano Vitale trusted folk art

Tommaso Berra · 1 week ago · Art

Arriving in the United States, in Los Angeles, to study at the University of Southern California, Stefano Vitale sought a way to express his hitherto unexpressed ideas using the skills he had at his disposal. Art began to figure as the most precise and sincere tool through which to do so, so he began a path that led him to a career as an established artist, thanks to his colorful and metaphysical illustrations, evocative of magical worlds in which nature dialogues with man, in which figures are suspended in mid-air in starry skies and under the hot Sicilian sun.

In the early years of his career, Stefano Vitale insists on a recurring subject, a one-eyed Madonna, a subject certainly influenced by the sacred iconography he studied and explored throughout his travels in Mexico and Central America. “I have always trusted popular art more than official art,” Vitale explains.
His look toward an elemental art is reflected in the style that uses simple lines, leaving the decorative component to color. The subjects are celebrations of joy or primal bonds such as that between mother and child or man and nature. Plants and leaves are superimposed on faces, while the sky is always a central subject of the compositions, signaled by the presence of bright stars or moons that make magical nights and sunsets.
Stefano Vitale’s work has then been linked for more than two decades by his collaboration with Donnafugata. For the Sicilian winery, the artist illustrates bottle labels, visually representing an imagery of flavors and smells that originates in Sicily, finds its inspiration from music and the Leopard, and seeps into sensory memory. Below are some of the labels created by Vitale for Donnafugata.

Stefano Vitale | Collater.al
Stefano Vitale | Collater.al
Stefano Vitale | Collater.al
Stefano Vitale trusted folk art
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Stefano Vitale trusted folk art
Stefano Vitale trusted folk art
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