It was not so long ago that if a piece of art was seen on the side of a building, or in a subway, it was considered graffiti, and it made people angry. But times have changed since then, and being a street artist is not half as controversial as it once was. Or at least, it is a great deal less controversial if the people involved have gotten permission. But street artists don’t always get permission.
By far the most well known street artist in the world is Banksy. Known for his incredible art, all of which has a powerful message, Banksy artwork can be seen reproduced in virtually every country in the world. Most interesting of all, however, is that despite his popularity, the true identity of Banksy is not even known.
Some artists blow people away with their bright colours, breath taking imagery, and incredible recreation of actual life. But, in the case of Banksy, most of the rules many would consider to make good traditional art are thrown right out the window. This immediately begs the question as to what exactly makes art real art, but few would really argue that Banksy does not create incredible art. It often simply does not appear as one would expect.
Banksy artwork is trademark for having little to no colour, and instead aiming to strike a thought provoking response in the viewer. Which is not to say that Banksy artwork is not visually appealing. It certainly is, although often just as haunting as it is pleasing to look at. One classic Banksy piece of art shows a man looking out a window with a pair of binoculars, completely ignoring that a naked man is hanging from the windowsill, just inches away. It is created only from black and white, but still manages to be incredibly powerful. And the most interesting part of the artwork? It is on the wall of a sexual health clinic. And yes, the location of the artwork was intentional.
Rise To Popularity
Banksy, as with many street artists, was first considered a nuisance. His artwork appeared without consent, and many were pushing that the man responsible be tracked down and arrested. But as the images began to gain more attention, and the messages behind them more thought provoking, Banksy soon become a household name. Many flocked to see the images for themselves, and it wasn’t long before people were begging for him to create artwork at their venues, as a way to gain publicity.
Today Banksy is still active, and still anonymous despite many attempting to contact him and pay him for his artwork. Although it has been speculated, Banksy’s anonymity may be more of a publicity ruse now than anything else. With his artwork being featured across the world in multiple reproductions, that his name or face be unknown seems a bit convenient. Either way, there is no official name or face to the man who is clearly making a small fortune off his artwork.
Along with art of a static kind, Banksy has been credited with the creation of two films. Exit Through the Gift Shop is his most well known, but is not what many expected. The documentary is not focused on Banksy himself at all, but instead on the nature of artwork, and how flexible it’s value can be. The film has gained massive acclaim across the world and was nominated for an Academy award for best documentary.
The second film attached to his name is titled The Antics Roadshow, although Banksy himself was not as directly involved as in Exit Through the Gift Shop.