iColumn 2.0

7 12 2009

Banksy

My last two articles were about  two art- related designer brands. In keeping with the modern/ contemporary/ everyday art theme, this time I am going to write about famous English graffiti artist, commonly known as Banksy.

 Graffiti is not normally considered to be art. But Banksy takes it to another level, spray painting his way through the streets of London.   He has to create stencils of his works beforehand, as spray painting the whole image would take too long, and he would get caught.

His stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti- war, anti capitalist or anti- establishment. Subjects include rats, monkeys, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly.

Famous works of his include Anarchist rat, and Ozone’s Angel.

Banksy is known to do some pretty crazy stuff, such as sneaking into London Zoo at night and spray painting “We’re bored of fish”, in seven foot high letters in the penguin enclosure and also spray painting another message in the elephants enclosure.

In 2004, Banksy walked into the Louvre in Paris and hung on a wall a picture he had painted that resembled the Mona Lisa, but with a yellow smiley face. Though the painting was hurriedly removed by the museum staff, it  and its counterpart, temporarily on unknown display at the Tate Britain, were described as ‘shortcuts’ by Banksy. He is quoted as saying; “To actually [have to] go through the process of having a painting selected must be quite boring. It’s a lot more fun to go and put your own one up.”

In August/September 2006, Banksy replaced up to 500 copies of Paris Hilton’s debut CD, Paris, in 48 different UK record stores with his own cover art and remixes by Danger Mouse. Music tracks were given titles such as “Why am I Famous?”, “What Have I Done?” and “What Am I For?” Several copies of the CD were purchased by the public before stores were able to remove them, some going on to be sold for as much as £750 on online auction websites such as eBay. The cover art depicted Paris Hilton digitally altered to appear topless. Other pictures feature her with a dog’s head replacing her own, and one of her stepping out of a luxury car, edited to include a group of homeless people, which included the caption “90% of success is just showing up”

 Banksy’s works are all highly controversial, yet really give strong messages. I highly recommend you search more about him and view more of his works as they are all entertaining top look at and very amusing.

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