The guerilla artist

He is son of a butcher… He was born in 1978, no 1974, wait maybe 1980s, maybe he’s a teenager or a middle-aged man. No wait he must be an artist…The legend of Banksy is getting bigger and so do the prices of his graffiti. Ilker Kocas looks at the Banksy Phenomenon.

Anti capitalist, environmentalist, anti fascist painter and a recent movie director. The legend of Banksy is getting bigger and so do the prices of his graffiti.

Some call him an artist, some a vandal. The anonymous graffiti artist Banksy has made his name with his cult paintings in public spaces. Many of his artworks can be witnessed in different parts of the world including London, Brighton, L.A West Banks in all of these cities he has made his marks on the streets.

A Bristol bloke with his iconic and shocking art has become a huge cult. As his work became a modern phenomenon the mystery behind his identity triggered curiosity. Because after all who is Banksy?

For such a long time the media has tried to figure out his identity and with the answer to their questions was always “No” the theories about his identity have multiplied thoughout the years.

He is son of a butcher… He was born in 1978, no 1974, wait maybe 1980s, he can be a teenager or a middle-aged man. No wait he must be an artist…

Whoever he is, his art is always saying something in his own special way. His message is clear stop ruining the world.

Graffiti paintings on the Israeli West Bank ba...
Image via Wikipedia

Once he painted a rat saying, “If Graffiti changed anything it would be illegal.”

But can graffiti change world? Probably no. Yet it can definitely add colour to our world. That is what Banksy has been doing.

In 2005 Banksy made his way to Palestine to paint the Israeli west bank wall. The wall was built by the Israeli government to prevent Palestinians leaking into Israeli territories.

“The ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers” that is how Banksy described the wall and he painted nine graffiti images to protest the segregation that the wall caused.

English: A work by Bristol artist Banksy.
Image via Wikipedia

Yet Bansky faces a dilemma with his graffiti, producing them on public spaces as he does he did not hope or want any price tags to his art. Yet people went crazy about them and they have ended up in auction sales.

2006 showed a turning point for Banksy Graffiti. That was the year that American celebrities such as Christina Aguilera and Angelina Jolie bought his paintings and made the art even more popular.

Thus public art turned to into a private one, along with a special technique that transformed his graffiti on to canvases which were then sold more conventionally to the anyone willing to pay a fortune.

Banksy had to comment on this delusion, of course in his own way, his answer was clear: “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.”

“Follow your dreams: cancelled, No Future, One nation under CCTV” is one of his most remarkable mottos in his paintings. His message is not always with words but with Jesus Christ holding shopping bags, Mickey Mouse and a McDonald’s guy holding the hands of napalm girl or a protester throwing a flower.

Is Graffiti a crime? Here are some of his paintings, make a decision.

[portfolio_slideshow pagerpos=bottom navpos=disabled]

Main Image: Adrian Pingstone, Wikimedia Commons

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