Banksy – Where Art Meets Social Commentary

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Banksy, is perhaps one of the most famous urban artists in the world, however his real identity is still a well-kept secret. Though you cannot tell his face apart in a crowd, his art and his iconic style is very hard to miss. The British artist’s work varies from graffiti to books and movies, and what they all have in common are their critical qualities. Through his art, Banksy sends political and social messages and critiques certain aspects of the world such as war, income inequality, etc. He defines graffiti as the empowerment of  the weak against a more resourceful enemy and the fact that all his works are public coincides with this mentality.

There are lots of qualities that makes his art an example of cultural jamming. First off, his work cannot be classified as vandalism because his intentions with his graffiti are not destructive. He doesn’t aim to damage public property but merely uses it as a canvas for his art and make it even more beautiful. Furthermore, aside from being aesthetically appealing, the main purpose of his work is to send a message through irony, play on words, or just by the image itself. These messages usually target the authority or the corrupt nature of society, and aims to change certain wrongs into rights. He also targets human nature and its faults as a subject for art and again, conveys his ideas through it. He also uses icons from pop culture and with distorted images, produces a mockery of them. He usually uses the stencil technique to make his art more precise and quick, and though he sometimes digresses to other forms such as plain text, his stencils are what he is most famous for.

By using his works to spread his (sometimes controversial) beliefs, Banksy has become a household name for most. With his recognizable style, he is an art and cultural jamming icon, and perhaps one of the most well-known ones. Overall, his art is like a subtle propaganda against what he believes is wrong or worth making fun of in the world, and he presents in the most striking and fascinating way.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksy#Early_career_.281992.E2.80.932001.29

Image: http://www.pixels2canvas.co.uk/image/cache/data/Banksy%20Art/BANKSY-beggar-m-700×700.jpg

 

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