Controversial Art In The Alps

An artist calling himself Caesar and copying the style and methodology of the famous Banksy has been at work in Meribel in the French Alps, and  has now launched a crowdfunding initiative to raise funds to create a permanent art work in the Alps.

Caesar’s initial illustrations, a duplicate of Banksy’s famous ‘Kiss’ which originally showed two kissing policemen, but which Caesar made it to two kissing ESF ski instructors, were quickly removed at the end of last season from locations under Altiport and on a tower of the Saulire lift and were only seen by a few people.

Caesar’s crowdfunding initiative aims to raise £1500 so that he can install a new artwork in the 3 Valleys in a location where it won’t be removed, a spokesman for the artist said he had several in mind.  Funders can pledge £5 to £25 for stickers, prints and T shirts up to £500 for a bespoke artwork for your home/log cabin.

“The piece is not intended to cause offence. It is intended to make people smile. Caesar has absolutely nothing against the ESF whatsoever, but more against this perception that everyone seems to have that they own the mountain. The idea of the piece is to make people think of these instructors more than just these bright red guardians of the mountain,” said the spokesperson with access to Ceasar, who added, “For years the ESF have been viewed as a serious authority on the mountains, but in reality they are ordinary ski instructors, just like any other ski instructors, whether British, Spanish or Italian.”

The spokesperson said Caesar had wanted to do an ESF inspired piece for a while now and the Simon Butler case, along with other instances of what he considered unfair treatment of foreign workers in French resorts, was the tipping point that led to the “Kissing instructors” idea becoming a reality.

“These events gave the piece a purpose, to lighten the mood during a very tense time in the mountains,” he concluded.

“Caesar  is welcome in Méribel, and we would be pleased to suggest suitable mediums for him that are respectful of our traditions and in line with the character of the resort,” said  Alain Etievent, from Méribel’s ESF, “However a  pylon is a private property and there is a safety issue to consider as nothing must detract the attention of a skier and cause a danger on the slopes.

“His work could be appropriate in certain locations and we appreciate that art can be hugely positive and convey many messages but he must respect the resorts infrastructure as of course he must in any other location. Meribel has always been very attached to our British customers and they are very important to us and we are pleased to host and extend a warm welcome to the British Forces Open Ski Championship which have become an annual fixture.” Concluded Etievent.