'I don’t know how his mind works': what it's really like working with the elusive street artist Banksy
Art Business

‘I don’t know how his mind works’: what it’s really like working with the elusive street artist Banksy

Co-founder Wissam Salsa stands at the entrance of the Walled Off Hotel, which has attracted more than 60,000 visitors since March this year, helping the tourism industry in Palestine go from strength to strength. Heidi Levine for The National The number of confidantes privy to street artist Banksy’s true identity is notoriously small. Those who can call him a business partner, and a friend, number far fewer. In fact, Wissam Salsa might be one of the only people in the world who can tick all three boxes. The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem was as much a labour of love for owner and general manager Salsa and his wife Rasha, as it was for Banksy himself. It’s the culmination of a decade of friendship between the artist and the Palestinian national, Salsa tells me as we chat at the hotel bar, sitting beneath the Banksy-curated security camera wall art and central grand piano. Indeed, everything in this room has had the Banksy touch, Salsa says. “He thought of everything … I don’t know how his mind works – he’s a freak,” he adds. “He chose the carpet – he even told us how to put out the salt and […]

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