Mason Storm - Monkey Parliament 2020 Hors Commerce
Mason Storm - Monkey Parliament (Hors Commerce)
Size - 56 x 80 cm
Year - 2020
Hors Commerce Print 1 of 1
Gilcee print on Hahnemuhle Museum Etching 350gsm
So "if" Banksy didn't paint the "Decentralised Parliament", who did?
A mysterious and very talented painter, Mason Storm. In a recent article, the artist, still hooded, evaded the fact that this painting was not painted by Banksy and even implied that it was painted by himself. Whether or not this is true is a matter of debate. If you look at Mason's paintings, you can certainly conclude that he has the skill to do this work on Banksy's behalf.
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Mason Storm never attended a ‘normal’ art college. His artistic education began when he was about 12 or 13. One night while attending his local youth centre his Judo class was cancelled and so he wandered into the art class where his friend was doing classes. He continued wandering in and out every night for about 15 years.
The teachers there at the time were students supplementing their grants by working at the centre while creating their own pieces. They went on to become leading lights in the UK contemporary art world having graduated from The Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal College of Arts and Central St Martins.
Art has always remained his passion, however Mason left it to one side while he began a career that was very much removed from the world of art. He cannot reveal all the details of his career path however these are the edited highlights: Judo/Self Defence Instructor, Freelance Security Contractor, Security Consultant/Freelance Intelligence Analyst, Journalist specialising in Intelligence/Espionage/Terrorism, Law Graduate, Barrister.
As a distraction Mason took to creating sculpture and was asked to take part in a show. From then on he has gradually returned to art. It’s far more entertaining than his past activities.
Masons work has been considered controversial and provocative, however he never try’s to be controversial in his subject matter just for the sake of it, there is always an underlying reason for the work he produces.
Mason is probably best known for his mask. It has become a trademark, hiding his identity whilst creating a mystique which helps with promotion and publicity. He began wearing it when in 2010 he said he was going to reveal the face of the artist Banksy in an oil painting. The whole campaign was nothing more than a big marketing ploy and it worked. The supposed unveiling of Banksy courted a lot of negative publicity and the occasional death threat. Nothing he hasn’t encountered many times in his previous life but he knew the fact that he was remaining anonymous would annoy Banksy’s followers even more. Secondly, in his previous careers he has met and dealt with some extremely dangerous men. There is no risk to his security but he would rather the two worlds never meet. Also he occasionally does freelance work and its better for him if he remain in the shadows so to speak. So the mask, apart from its marketing potential allows him to hide in plain sight.