There is definitely something wrong with me. I jump from the “provocative & grotesque” Steadman, to the satirical and subversive Banksy. What can you do, beauty is in the mind of the beholder, our perception. Graffiti artist, political activist, whatever. Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, and political activist who has been at it since the 1990s. His works of political and social commentary can been seen on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy started in the Bristol underground scene. Where, according to him, he was “inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist and founding member of the musical group Massive Attack.”
His art is “displayed” on public surfaces, graffiti? I don’t know. What I do know- he has important things to say about the societal and political issues facing us today. While he no longer sells photographs or reproductions of his street art, his public creations are often sold. Much of the hype around Banksy, besides the incredible talent and important message, is the mystery of his identity. Anonymity is crucial to Banksy and his success because fundamentally, what he does is illegal.
The “Banksy effect” is an idea that has developed around Banksy’s attraction and innovation. The idea refers to his ability to turn non-main stream art into a demand, into the “norm”. Just look at his effect on street art.
Banksy’s stencils center on striking and humorous images. He utilizes stencils which allows him to paint fast, to get in and out before he is either caught or recognized. His message revolves around anti-war, anti-fascism, anti-consumerism, anti-capitalist, anarchism, or anti-establishment topic matter.
Banksy himself once described graffiti as a form of underclass “revenge”, or guerrilla warfare. He sees what he does as part of a larger class struggle, as well as a tool to call out the authorities of the centralized political system. Through his art he calls out the flaws of humanity, greed, poverty, hypocrisy, despair, and absurdity.
His work has been classified as simple vandalism. He’s been accused of glorifying criminal conduct and of being little more than a copycat of French artist Blek le Rat. You make your own decision, I’m a fan.Banksy