Hi 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.
Of 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.
Lazarides, 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:
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: