The Pseudonymous Art of Bansky
For over a decade the United Kingdom, especially Bristol, England, has had their streets grafffitied by an unknown artist, Banksy. Since his start in the early 1900s, and increasing popularity since 2007, Banksy has become a pseudonymous graffiti artist, that is a political activist, painter, and film director. Banksys’ artwork has broken records for the highest bought pieces, for a unanimous artists. The United States, United Kingdom, and many other parts of the world, have been left with just one question, Who is Banksy?
Aside from the fact that he is anonymous, Banksy is different from other artists because he uses a distinct stenciling technique. Banksy reverted to stencils due to the fact as a teen and young adult he was never able to complete his pieces in one setting, and dealing with graffiti Banksy would get caught by the police. With stenciling, it cuts down on time, and allows him to complete a higher amount of pieces in a shorter time frame.
In contrast, Banksy is similar to artists, because he is trying to get a message across, that gets more words across than words themselves do. Banksy combines dark humor with graffiti, mostly containing political and social commentary. Banksy’s works have dealt with themes including, anti-war, anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, nihilism, existentialism. The condition and mood of the humans portrayed in his work commonly consist of greed, hypocrisy, boredom, poverty, despair, absurdity, and alienation.
Since graffiti can be considered as a form of vandalism, many people a would like to know the identity of Banksy, and fine him for destruction. When Banksy puts his art on a building, billboard, or place, he considers the location “bombed”. Banksy has “bombed” many major museums, including Louvre, where he placed an image of the Mona Lisa plastered with a smiley-face sticker. He has “bombed” the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many other places. In 2005, after the museums were bombed his fame really took off, and was invited to Israel, where he painted a series of images on the West Bank’s concrete wall ( part of the wall is built to stop suicide bombers). Banksy’s fame and success skyrocketed, after pop sensation, Christina Aguilera, bought one of his art works for 25,000 pounds. Which led to the chain reaction of later art pieces being sold for over 100,000 pounds.
As the question of , who is Banksy, continues to rise, there have been multiple claims as to who Banksy is. There have been numerous theories and hypotheses to who Banksy is. The most accepted theory is that Banksy is actually, 40 year-old, Robin Gunningham. Banksy moved from Bristol, where he attended school, to London, at the same time Gunningham had. The argument for Gunningham being Banksy isn’t a very good one, but has been and remains the accepted theory to who Banksy is. Banksy’s agent released on his blog, that he can neither confirm or deny his identity, and doesn’t plan on doing so anytime soon.
Banksy has opened the doorway for artists around the world, to approach art in way that doesn’t necessarily match the guidelines society sets. He has shown that even “nobody’s” can be noticed. To this day Banksy remains unanimous, but has still provided a way for his fans to connect with him. Banksy’s agent sells small canvas’ of Banksy’s artwork, that could sell for thousands of dollars, but instead they are sold for 60, because he doesn’t see himself highly enough to sell artwork at such a high value. Banksy also writes books, expressing the same themes as his artwork, along with videos.
The Pioneer, is neither supporting nor bashing the work of Banksy, but we agree that it is okay to be yourself, and express who you really are through what you do. Instead of hiding behind the mask of “anonymous”, out of fear of being accepted by society, remove the mask and show the world who you really are. Comment below, who you think Banksy is, or cool ways you have expressed yourself in the past, or ways to do so in the future.