Banksy has become a popular street artist worldwide. As an anonymous figure, he has been completely altering the way the world looks at graffiti. A lot of his stencils are very provocative and thought provoking. He presents his political ideas by forming them into meaningful street art across the globe. His extremely political art is very powerful, making many of the images shocking to the public.
On the streets of New York City this past summer, Banksy placed street art all over, sending the city on a wild chase to find all of the locations. The public would wait for social media to send out another Banksy sighting and try to be the first person to see his work. This scavenger hunt that he created was “accessible to all” and very appealing to the public. With new work popping up all over the city, Banksy succeeded with another one of his creative pranks.
In 2010, a film called Exit Through the Gift Shop, was directed and produced by Banksy as a “mockumentary.” A “mockumentary” is a film, in documentary style, that is designed to “mock” a subject and create satire, as well mocking the very concept of documentaries. In the film, Thierry Guetta, a French man also known as “The Brainwash,” uses street art for fame and money, instead as a passion. Banksy revealed Thierry as a cheater who only wanted to make money and decided street art was the way to do this. As a very “provocative film” about art, Banksy reveals a British man who discovered street art as a way to make millions of dollars. Most street artists are identified as a person unlike Banksy; however, they still let their work be their identifier. Thierry is the complete opposite, and instead of wanting to create art to put his ideas out in the world, he unfortunately became successful. However, he is not successful or taken as a seriously as an artist. Banksy exposes a former passionate filmmaker who used his own ideas and talent to find a way into the street art and make it a career.
There is some controversy about the film, with some saying that Thierry Guetta is Banksy. There is some evidence to this hypothesis, because you never see both of them in the same shot. However, I believe that this film is another example of Banksy’s usual “pranks.” This is because Banksy is exposing the corruption of society, just like his artwork on city streets.
Celebrities Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt bought one of Banksy’s paintings for a million euros in an art auction. Angelina expressed that she wanted something that “relates to their lives, time, and culture.”
“Art is a subjective word.” It presents creativity for viewers to come up with their own opinions. Banksy is a street artist that has created his own type of art all over the world. Instead of allowing his peers to come up with their own opinion, he presents a piece of art to the public that has a clear message about our society.
All images: banksy.co.uk.