Political Art of Banksy the Graffiti Guerrilla

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Banksy Flower ChuckerHi kids. Today’s art lesson comes in the form of England’s most popular and well known graffiti artist. How popular is he? Well, two men were actually convicted in a UK court for defacing one of his works. That’s right. He tagged a building, they covered it up, and they went to jail!

Banksy is no street thug. He is a serious artist that happens to have an addiction to spray painting his art in public places. His art features striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment or pro-freedom.

Banksy Cut HereOf course, there is one small problem. The fact that he’s running around everywhere illegally defacing private property presents a real problem, and for that reason no one actually knows for sure who Banksy is.

There is a fantastic web site cataloging his work, and I found it absolutely captivating. Each image really needs to be examined. Not in the kind of way that pretentious people standing in a museum stare at a painting for hours and then announce they found “meaning”… Banksy’s statements jump right out and hit you with a brick between the eyes.

If you happen to be in or around London and want to check out Banksy’s street art, here is a map of various locations. You need to zoom in, but there are 114 locations marked.

Banksy HuntersLazarides, Inc. purports to be the only gallery actually selling Banksy authorized originals. You can also visit what is purported to be the official Banksy Web site, which is run by a photographer who has cataloged what seems to be almost all of Banksy’s work.

Other sites cataloging Banksy’s art:

You may also be interested in procuring a couple of books about Banksy’s work: Wall and Piece (Hardcover), Banksy Locations & Tours (Paperback)

Here is a video from the BBC which is one of the only videos of the artist at work:


And here is a video of Banksy planting fake art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:


And here is a video that showcases some of his more famous works:


Article Written by
John P.

John P. is CEO of Livid Lobster and co-host of Geek Beat TV. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Comments

  1. Paul Baines says:

    Great Banksy post. Most people would make more money selling their walls if they have original Banksys on them. I found this post when looking for anyone else in the UK street/urban art scene who has created a work about the current general election. Would be nice to read something other than stories about BNP graffiti which is a really depressing sign of the future.

  2. ben says:

    are you serious ?

    your worried about the cost of some spray paint to be removed compared to what the government has illegally spent killing hundreds and thosands of innocents in a war noone wants ?

    get real.

    your attitude is why this country is int he state its in…

    ben

  3. We need more outspoken political artists. What Banksy lacks in subtly he makes up for with thought and passion. He also works well with humor — a fairly rare trait nowadays.

  4. Kirrus says:

    The video is of Channel 4 News, not BBC news.

  5. I have always valued graffiti artists very much.They create cery beautiful works.I am not so good at doing this so I prefer just watching their work and admiring them.

  6. helmac says:

    Its all very well praising the artistic element of this persons work but defacing public/private property is no laughing matter. With public property we all pick up the tab, for private property some innocent individual has to foot the bill. The sooner this individual is caught, prosecuted and made to pay financially the better for all concerned.

    • catherine says:

      ‘Helmac’ we are only human, insignificant tiny humans. If a wall has a work of art on it, displaying a political message about an issue larger than yourself or even your society, should that erased? I understand objecting to the pointless marks of territory of other graffiti artists, but when someone has something to say to a wider public than that of the ‘art world’ what better canvas than the bleak city streets? Open your mind and don’t focus on taxes or money, half the problem with our world is that we are money driven and focused.

    • runkle says:

      There’s a difference between tagging and what Banksy is doing. Street art is an actual art movement like surrealism and impressionism, and really it can make something very boring into something very cool. Jeff Soto is a muralist I recommend you look up, and there’s lots of other cool street art out there too.

      Anyways my point is not all graffiti and street art is a terrible thing and needs to be cleaned up. The obscene stuff and most tagging yes, but the kind of stuff Banksy and other street artists are doing is not necessarily bad.

      And they actually leave a lot of his stuff up, including some of what he has hung in museums himself.

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