Banksy: Graffiti And Street Art

1611 Words7 Pages
Banksy is best known for his ability to impact any location with is striking graffiti and street art while maintaining a secret identity. In 2010, Time magazine added him on the list as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world (Ellsworth-Jones 1). He has had an active lifestyle within the graffiti world since the 1990s where he initially started out with graffiti crews in his hometown Bristol by the name of DryBreadZ (DBZ). Banksy started his career with freehand work but quickly adapted to using stencils because of the time urgency needed when creating street art. Some common subjects of his artwork include rats, apes, policeman, the royal family and children. Not only is Banksy an expert in his two-dimensional street art…show more content…
His iconic images of rats and chimps appeared stenciled all over the city of London gaining mainstream attention of the national press (Dickens). At this point in his life is where Banksy met his agent and publicist, photographer Steve Lazarides, the two self-published a series of books - Brandalism, Existencilism and Cut Out and Collect- these books helped promote Banksy's work and raise his media profile. In London, Banksy honored his political ideas on globalization and corporate greed which became more apparent in his work (Dickens). Through these ideas he was able to copy the techniques and language of advertising trough slogans and simple images and convey them through his graffiti masterpieces. He would attack brands like Tesco and Nike and showcase them in clever public locations. By the early 2000s, Banksy was now one of the biggest named graffiti artist. His artwork expanded to target the art world as his next undertaking. Dishonoring traditional galleries, Banksy would host his art in extraordinary ways and locations (Dickens). These pieces would be displayed in abandoned tunnels, others would be placed into highbrow art museums and live animals would be placed within his exhibitions. The meaning behind this was so that Banksy could take art out of "stuffy galleries" and into the forgotten, unkempt places that the art world would…show more content…
Foucault detailed how the structuring of discursive spaces of specialized institutions, such as military camps and monasteries, has infiltrated not only the structure of prisons, but the rest of society as well. Banksy maintains his anonymity because of the illegality of his art and his desire to avoid incarceration. The British artist alters a vertical guided social way of life, promoting instead an artistic reaction to the established power. In one of his few declarations, he complains: "If you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask" (Banksy). This statement is evocative of Subcomandante Marcos's ideas of public face and of unknown icon. By addressing his anonymous persona, Banksy directly critiques the cult of genius that has dominated the art world since the Renaissance. Yet these statements are contradictory: while denying the importance of the creator, he likewise expresses a desire to disseminate his personal opinions and ideas not only in this quotation, but also in the fact that he "signs" many of his works (fig. 7). By invading the public domain and the museum system with his graffiti art and installation pieces, Banksy is, indeed, making his voice known and becoming a celebrity in the process. Therefore, while he may not have begun creating illegal art as a ploy to become famous, attaining an international reputation has certainly been one of the

More about Banksy: Graffiti And Street Art

Open Document