Mystery always appears when Banksy is the theme. Banksy is the pseudonym of a British graffiti painter, screen painter, political activist and film director. His satirical and subversive street art combines acid humor and graffiti made with a distinctive stencil technique. His works of social and political commentary can be found on streets, walls and bridges in cities around the world. Known for his contempt for the government that labels graffiti as vandalism, Banksy exposes his art in public places like walls and streets, and even uses objects to expose it.
But, recently, he took a break from his work and everyone was wondering when or even if he would come back. He came back: precise and sharp as always. As Banksy is used to us, there is always a message that is conveyed in their work. In 2014, he painted two works that converged on their themes: ‘Spy booth’ and ‘Mobile lovers’. In a world where technology has been growing out of control, this artist invites us to think about how this can have a dark side to our lives.
On the wall that we see ‘Mobile lovers’, the author of the artwork show us two people, a woman and a man, hugging on the wall. But, instead, pay attention at the moment, they are looking at your smartphones. This couple, illuminated by the light of their cell phones, criticizes the addiction to electronic devices and social networks, and it reminds us of the thinking of sociologist Zygmunt Bauman who defends the idea that an ultra-connected “liquid” society will also change the forms of relationships, such as love. The thinker, then, presents the idea of a liquid love, which takes no roots and is superficial. In a painting where people touch but don’t see each other, this contemporary feeling becomes clear and violent.
There are many who see themselves in that hugged couple, focused only on their mobile phones. It’s a picture of our days. Despite this, affective relationships change over time. As one of the works of art, this mural invites us to think about the forms of love and relationship we are cultivating in the contemporary world. What affections and in what ways can we relate healthily in a connected and fast-paced world? Thankfully, we have thinkers like Bauman and artists like Banksy to pull us out of inertia, turn a street, and remind us to the power of reflection.