Sunday, July 20, 2008

Banksy - International Man of Mystery

Art is good and often mysterious; it brings an often indefinable joy to us all where we need not have any specific agreement on what it means or why we like it, it just is and we accept that by its very nature it is often subjective.

This brings me to Banksy a British satirical graffiti artist who has been bravely challenging the establishment for a few years now.

He has an enviable ability to subvert the belief systems that we tend to clutch onto today and I LOVE IT. His art is public and therefore democratic and its poetry is in its ability to challenge social norms and injustices with a wry grin.

Aside from his satirical wit, what makes Banksy so fascinatingly mysterious is his anonymity. No one really knows who Banksy is, his art fetches huge amounts of money (one piece sold for over $500k!) and pops up in all the ‘right’ places. In 2005 nine images appeared at the Israeli West Bank and my personal favourite was when he hung his own subverted paintings at the Tate Gallery in London. Check out the video footage on his site of him doing it http://www.banksy.co.uk/


His message has been to make his art famous and not himself yet recently there have been news reports claiming to have cracked his identity. I can’t help but wonder why we can’t live with the mystery.
What is it about outing Banksy? What is it that forces us to need to explain something which is clearly more challenging the longer it remains a mystery?

2 comments:

David Chait said...

One of my favourite London artists, with remmants of his work in the most obscure places in and around the city. I noticed quite a few Banksy style images in and around Melbourne, demonstrating his influence in different urban dwellings.

RobPyne said...

The best bit on Banksy's website is the story of George Davis in the Manifesto section.