I slept with a Banksy. After it had been prized off the external wall and brought inside a Bristol boys’ club for safe keeping, youth worker Jordan Powell stayed the night with the stencilled image of a man and woman embracing while checking their phones; or, checking their phones while embracing – just as long as they both saw it the same way, shared the same priority, etc etc.When clear night skies prompted temperatures to fall towards freezing, Mr Powell may have snuggled up to the couple to stay warm (assuming they hadn’t turned cold towards each other). Winched to safety in wire baskets (like pets on the way to the vet), survivors of the South Korean ferry disaster are wrapped in checkered blankets, pink and blue. Their faces are inscrutable. Yes, I said it; but this is not to continue the Occidental caricature of Orientals. The young woman stepping out of the basket and into the helicopter, is so busy taking the crucial step to safety she cannot also make the leap to her own emotions. Similarly, high school students in matching red life-jackets – looks like they all made the team, sitting on the upturned hull of the stricken ship, calmly await their turn for the winch. On the face of it, there’s more trauma at the average adventure playground. Nearly 300 passengers still unaccounted for. Back at Danwon High School in Ansan, near Seoul, more blankets are issued as parents and friends prepare for a long night.
A mother’s profile, head tilted back on her husband’s shoulder, eyes aligned upwards. She isn’t, they’re not; but no one would blame them for checking their phones.
Beyond Banksy, Henri Matisse could not have made her more beautiful; but if he’d wanted to make her feel better, he should have cut out her heart.