Banksy is a renowned artist known for his infamous street art all across the world.
One big influence of banksy’s street art is surrealism. Surrealism is a whimsical type of artwork with abstract images. These paintings usually juxtapose one another. Banksy’s earlier artwork during the pop art movement has had the greatest impact on society. His take on art, using graffiti, sparked an international phenomenon and movement. Pop art re-exposed familiar objects in a controversial way to everyday people. This type of images were based on mass media and popular culture.
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This new art was a major shift for the direction of modernism. Banksy's more recent art can be classified as modernism. Banksy’s creative and effective skills in art, makes him a great graffiti artist, entrepreneur, and activist.Banksy is the greatest graffiti artist. This is due to his murals like, The Mobile Lovers cause pass byers to question the meaning of the painting by thinking abstractly. The painting displays a man and a woman , which appear to be having an affectionate hug, being demeaned by the use of cell phones. The color scheme of blues, greys, and whites make it seem like the couple is in the dark of night or dawn of the early morning. Furthermore, the couple appear to be glowing which plays back into the surrealist techniques. This painting can be found on the outside of a nightclub in Bristol. Banksy chooses the places for his graffiti paintings for a specific reason, each place has a meaning; which relates back to his creativity. The creativity of his art can be compared to that of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein which are some of the most well known artists of the 21st century. Ultimately, Banksy’s style, message, and placement make him a great street artist. Banksy is a well rounded entrepreneur because of his successful artwork.
According to the article, “The True Counterfeits of Banksy: Radical Walls of Complicity and Subversion”, the author Eva Branscome states, “Banksy understands his market, and runs a lucrative enterprise; his street pieces immediately feature in London’s Evening Standard. Some are real, some are fakes. This opposition is essential to the mystique. But the most adept of Banksy’s fan club have already been on location, taken their pictures and posted them in various cyber-forums as evidence. A mixture of good eyes and tip-offs from Banksy’s machine guided them there. They take delight in being insiders and quicker than the press.” This explains how popular banksy is and will continue to be. So much so that he has developed a loyal following. These same fans and admirers spend millions of dollars to go to art galleries with a few of his paintings featured in them. Moreover, what makes any artist a great entrepreneur is the profit they have accumulated over time. For example, banksy’s painting Space Girl and Bird sold for $479,926. In total his paintings like: Think Tank, Rude Lord, and Rembrandt have sold for over half of a million dollars.
Critics of the New York Times magazine hypothesized these paintings and many others of Banksy’s would not sell for more than $30,000. Beating the cards stacked against him, makes Banksy a great artist.Not only does Banksy create art for profit, he also uses it to expose controversial topics and current events. According to the article,”Banksy strikes New orleans”, by Julie Bloom she explains what Banksy’s message is to New Orleans. “As New Orleans faces another potentially destructive storm, the street artist known as Banksy has created more than a dozen murals around the city, including the one shown above. The murals depict a variety of scenes, including Abraham Lincoln as a homeless man pushing a basket, a marching band wearing gas masks, an old man in a rocking chair with an American flag below the words “No Loitering,” and a boy on a swing made out of a life preserver. According to a statement released by Banksy on Thursday, the murals were created in response to Fred Radtke, an anti graffiti campaigner also known as the Gray Ghost, who uses gray paint to cover up graffiti. The statement also said, “Three years after Katrina I wanted to make a statement about the state of the clean up operation.” Banksy calls to action people with power to do what he believes is right for people. Additionally, relating back to his painting titled, Mobile Lovers, I believe that the painting is a message for today’s generation.
Today’s generation is so infatuated with their phones that they can not even have affectionate human interaction. The couple depicted in the painting are staring meaninglessly at their phones when they have a loved one right in front of them. Literally, people can not go a few minutes without staring at their phone screen.The mobile lovers painting clearly represents how everyday life is, for this generation, as well as the future generation. The key components of Banksy’s work is to expose social norms that are ‘unhealthy’ or popular culture that is brainwashing kids. His ability to expose the youth to controversial topics, taboos, and politics; is a way to inform future generations and inspire them to think outside of societal standards. Inevitably making is art a successful form of rebellion.
Eva Branscome concluded, “Banksy’s walls are now often legally sanctioned, agreed beforehand in clandestine negotiations with the owners. A ‘Banksy’ gives added value to a wall, especially in London’s Tower Hamlet.” Some may think Banksy’s work and practice is plain old vandalism, with deeper analysis they can come to the conclusion that is art has a deeper meaning that is meant to expose inside the box thinking. Critics remain dumbfounded that despite many attempts to reveal or down play his work, after over two decades Banksy is still anonymous, still rebelling, and still succeeding.
Overall, Banksy is an influential artist that has made his mark across the world. His paintings speak 1000 words to this generation. His paintings will continue to be shared and interpreted around the world. From his painting, The Umbrella Girl, to Mobile Lovers, to the rat street art, each will be discussed at some point in time; this is what make artists great, as well as a long lasting legacy. The legacy you leave determines how great you are.