Mediterranean Sea View, 2017
Reworked oil paintings in artist’s frames, in three parts
Signed on the reverse
Sotheby’s London: 28 July 2020
GBP 2,235,000 / USD 2,893,578
Mediterranean Sea View was installed in the lobby of the Walled Off Hotel in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem. Touted by the artist as having “the worst view in the world”, the hotel overlooks the highly controversial Israeli West Bank Barrier which separates Israel from the Palestinian territories and carves Bethlehem into a double U-shape. The wall’s towering concrete slabs – which stand only 5 meters from the hotel’s entrance – have played host to many works by the artist who has visited with frequency since the mid-2000s. The hotel, which opened in 2017 as Bethlehem’s own answer to the ‘Waldorf’, offers guests a range of rooms from utilitarian bunk-bed dormitories to presidential suites, in which every space, corner and crevice is crammed with the sardonic word-play and dark visual gags of Banksy’s artwork.
Mediterranean Sea View, Walled Off Hotel, Bethlehem
Mediterranean Sea View was created for display over the rubble-filled fireplace in the colonial-styled hotel lobby. Adorning the walls amongst button-back armchairs, velvet curtains and dark-wood paneling, this work reads as the perfect adornment for a nineteenth-century bourgeois interior; yet, like the hotel itself, all is not what it seems: close inspection reveals a number of politically barbed and disturbing aberrations.