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Need-To-Inform. Bansky the great Phenomenon

Devolved Parliament. Bansky


Our perception of art, the way we define artist, as well as art itself have been changing drastically with the rapid developments of digitalisation and globalisation. If we look deeper into history, for many centuries, up until the mid nineteenth century, architecture, painting and sculpture were the three principal visual arts of Europe (Walker , 2001). In the highly globalisation and digitalised contemporary world, access to art and the growth of various kinds of art forms more widespread at a faster rate. Increasingly, art and media are intertwined more than ever before. As a result, today’s popular culture is not dominated by the fine arts but by the mass media as its central medium (Walker, 2001)

Bansky´sv works became symbolic to the contemporary world carrying anticonsujmerism, ant-war, anti-fascism, and ant- imperialism messages as the creator combines street art, popular culture, and social activism. He does not only create outstanding art forms but is also know for attaching deeper political meaning to his graffiti for the audience to decode and reflect upon.

As an activist, Bansky uses art as a way to raise awareness and protest against current issues such as climate change, military conflicts, and poverty. He has thus become one of the most influential and respected street artists, who voices statements on such important matters as politics, violence capitalism, ethics, and culture as a form of activism. Digital ethnography will be adopted as a method to try to understand the way Bansky operates online as well as his fans´response on the matters oh his identity and his art. Because of the artist’s anonymity, the online dimension is the only accesible way for Bansky to communicate with his audience. On the other side of the spectrum.socila media platforms are the best way for the artists´fans to communicate, research, and discuss his art as well as his identity. Bansky popularised art amongst broad audiences by making it available on the streets and openly accesible public spaces. He captures his works with ease and irony, and they are relatively easy to understand and to interpret. Bansky uses walls and spray paint, and the figures he illustrates messages. This makes his art a welcome topic for both niche art critiques and a wider audience.

To this days, graffiti is considered vandalism. Many street artists hide behind pseudonyms and this practice is an important part of graffiti culture. Banks prefers staying anonymous due to  his provocative works which often carry a political statement. Many believe that it is a questionable whether his influential status in the art world would save him from the legal consequences of is actions.

However, it might be the case that Bansky´s authority would save him from facing vandalism charges. There is a big chance that the unwillingness of being exposed and the legal motivation is a part of a well- thought- through identity. In other words, it can be a smart ploy to draw more attention and respect from fans, as well as recognition within stereo culture. The secret identity also contributes to the artist’s popularity and increases the value of his works in the market. One more ingredient that adds to Bansky´s mystery is the fact that his art unpredictably appears in different places. He is untraceable and no one can predict when and where his next work will appear. Such a system creates a kind of quest in which the public has to discover the new item whoever and whenever it appears.

Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based street artist, political activist, and film director whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation. Active since the 1990s, his satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencil  technique. His works of political and social commentary have appeared on streets, walls, and bridges throughout the world.  His work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist and founding member of the musical group Massive Attack.

Bansky is one of the most popular faces of street art with his unique and recognisable style. The (presumably) England- based artist  is sometimes called a Vandal. Bansky´s street art carries explicit political messages. His satirical graffiti, appears randomly in different parts of the world while their creator remains anonymous. While there is a lot of speculation and conspiracy theories surrounding his identity.

An international superstar, Bansky is one of the most politically engaged and popular artists of our time with over 12 million followers on his Instagram account. His works, both humanist and satirical, are visible to passers-by around the world, on walls and facades, and for several months, on ruins around Kyiv. Banksy – who has taken the notion of “resistance art” to another level – has become an unavoidable artist for major collectors and one of the most sought-after and best-supported artists on the art market. At the end of 2023, he ranked as the 53rd top-selling artist in the world, just behind the great Modern artist Fernand Léger, with an annual auction turnover exceeding $35 million from 770 works sold. In 2021, Banksy even reached 5th place in the Artprice global ranking (just behind the top-sellers Picasso, Basquiat, Warhol, and Monet) after a very exceptional performance that included a new record of $25.4 million for his Love is in the Bin (the famous painting with its hidden shredder in the frame that produced one of the most spectacular events in contemporary auction history).

Ultra-popular and highly valued, the works that Banksy created in public spaces are sometimes targeted by thieves. This was notably the case of a stencil painted in tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack at the Bataclan music hall in Paris. In 2022, eight men were sentenced for acts dating back to 2019. Recently, thieves made off with a London road sign on which Banksy had painted three aircraft resembling combat drones, a work that might fetch over $400,000 at auction.

To prevent theft and damage, certain works by Banksy are protected under plexiglass. Others have been lost forever, like those erased by London Underground cleaning teams in 2020 or the one destroyed along with the building that supported it as part of a property development in Bristol in 2006. Stencils not being any more eternal than the urban fabric on which they are daubed, things like the Bristol event will obviously happen again… but it is possible to save some of them.

Nely L. Friedrich

July 3 Th. 2024

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