Nick Stern, the photographer who breathes life into the most famous works of the elusive Banksy

The London-born 47-year-old, who revisits the stencils of the famous street artist, says: “I’ve always been intrigued by his work, I thought it would be fascinating to try and recreate some of his most famous images on camera”

In the Nick Stern‘s project “You are not Banksy”, the throwing flowers rioter, the kissing policemen, Jesus with the shopping bags, and many others graffiti’s characters signed by Banksy come to life through a reverse process respect to what happens with art. If normal, in fact, the latter with real life is reinterpreted, in the Stern ‘s work it becomes real, what merely was the result of stencils, spray, a clean wall, lots of imagination and a message to be transmitted.

Many people consider him as one of many imitators cause he copies and builds upon the works of the famous street artist Banksy but he, unlike others, including the Apulian Lino Bansky and Hansky from New York, which still remain in absolute anonymity just like their “inspirator”, about Nick Stern we know everything, who is, what he does and where he lives. The aura of deep mystery certainly contributes to spend many words to scholars or simple bloggers who gradually find out a new reinterpretation of the original graffiti. In fact, Lino Bansky from Andria recreates an irreverent parody of the Banksy’s stencil with the face and gags by the italian actor and his countryman Lino Banfi, while Hansky puts the face of the famous American actor Tom Hanks on the graffiti’s subjects.

Since 2007 Nick Stern lives in Los Angeles. Reading his profile on social networks, on his personal website and his interviews, we find out the profile of a professional photographer who has documented sensitive topics such as child prostitution and trafficking in human, and documented too difficult humanitarian situation in Haiti after the earthquake in the 2010. We can say he’s a purist who hates photo retouching on the computer, who discourages to use Apps like Instagram to report news stories. Instagram style filters are designed to make an image like a seventies style picture, and in different cases from simple hobby they could mislead the audience, adding more drama than real.

Stern said these touching words: “In Haiti, shortly after the 2010 earthquake, I took photos with tears running down my cheeks. It was only the camera held tightly to my face that meant my tears were not visible to those around me. I believe that emotion came through in my pictures. If it didn’t I failed in my job.” “The greatest photographs are created in the mind of the photographer and not in the workings of the camera.”

There are artists who go beyond simple street art, reprocessing it and contaminating it with the photograph: this is a Nick Stern’s tribute to most famous street artist of the moment cause, as the autor says: “Banksy’s work is pretty unique and inspiring, known the world over.” Stern said that was a long and careful work, where nothing was left to chance. For weeks he procured on ebay all the various objects that appear in images such as Jesus’s ring of thorns and the police helmets.

“I just hope Banksy likes what I have done” says Stern.

Seen on nannimagazine.it

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  3. The British photographer Nick Stern has recreated the famous works of UK street artist Banksy in real-life by having models pose in the exact replication of Banksy’s iconic works.

  4. The photography series ‘You Are Not Banksy’ by Nick Stern brings the infamous street artist’s most prominent works into reality. Stern is an internationally recognized photographer who specializes in journalistic captures for magazines and news stories.

  5. The recreations were never meant to be original art, they were shot as a idea to see how possible it would be to accurately reproduce Banksy’s work, paying attention not only to poses and props but also lighting, angles and perspective. It was a huge amount of fun shooting these, I never expect to see them hanging in the national gallery. As far as danger and risk is concerned, I don’t consider a street artist as someone who lives on the edge. I get my fair share shooting wars, famine and civil unrest, I don’t pretend to shoot guerrilla style to get my thrills. This was a little light relief. Nick Stern.

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