Too often art in public places has been shaped by the forces that put together funding to get it there or by the ambitions of an artist to go so far over the top that nobody can understand what they’re saying. Not the case with Banksy. I must be way behind the hipness curve on this one, because apparently this person has been around in the U.K. and has even done some work in Palestine. Check out this clip from a British television program:
Now the weird part about Banksy is that he doesn’t want to be seen or known by anyone. At first glance this seems to me like an effort to annihilate the ego, but with a name like Banksy, I’ve got to wonder…he’s obviously adept at publicity and he makes a living at this though nobody knows who he his. Sure, nobody gets into art for the money, and yet he seems to be doing just fine. Say what you will (no really, comment–I’m curious); this is still very honest art and it’s getting noticed all over the world, so he must be doing something right.
4 responses to “Featured artist: Banksy”
Where have you been 🙂 it still surprises me that people just coming across him. he is the biggest artist in the UK and is leading the whole street art explosion. There are lots of vids on youtube and if you google his name, lots of articles in newspapers such as the Times, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and Guardian.
He doesnt want to be seen or known cos the police will arrest him!
I think Banksy is an artist representing our era. His messages are clear and resonate with us. He has been noticed in the “street” and brought to us far away with photos/a website/videos etc. As you say “he must do something right” therefore his commercial success despite his anti-celebrity stand.
Often you have the “art” in one side and the “artist” in the other side. Banksy “artist” persona is also part of his art. I don’t know if you have read his interviews, somewhere he says the following about one of his exhibitions:
“Essentially, it’s about what a horrible place the world is, how unjust and cruel and pointless life is, and ways to avoid thinking about all that. One of the best ways turned out to be sitting in a warehouse making 50 paintings about cruelty, pain and pointlessness. You get immune. I painted one picture of a Western family eating a picnic in a village of starving African children called I HATE EATING MY DINNER IN FRONT OF THE NEWS, and got so obsessed with painting each and every fly on those kids’ faces, I never once thought about a starving kid for a second.”
The mix of his style and methodology makes him unique. I have gathered some interesting links about him it might interest you.
Yeah, I’m familiar with the standard graffiti artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and the like. It just surprises me that as big as Banksy seems to be he can’t just come out into the open like other prominent graffiti artists have. He’s got exhibitions in galleries now, but maybe he just digs keeping to public places with his statements. I’m sure there are a few cops who’d like nothing more than to expose him, though…
Thanks for your interest!
You make a good point about the variable distinction between art and artist here. Banksy has a kind of realism to his work that I hear in very little aural art, though pushed for comparison I’d go with someone like the Roots. Thanks for compiling those links!