What is art? Some people identify art as something aesthetically pleasing that often carries the expression of unique artistic visual language or an impactful opinion on social or political issues. Art is a vehicle of our society; it screams for our needs to get noticed. In fact, not only artists whose paintings hang in the galleries deserve particular attention. In my opinion, street-art is equally informative and appealing, thus must be acknowledged.
In the 1990s, when the world underwent economic convulsions rapidly moving into the new century, self-expression was an essential element of our society. It was this need for self-expression which made street-art as remarkably popular as it is today. Due to the extreme progression of the street art's popularity it was significantly hard to stand out in the sea of the extraordinary visual artists. However, one managed to be clearly noticed.
Since the end of the 20th century, Banksy has been a term used to describe a unique artist who has never revealed his authentic identity. When TIME magazine ranked Banksy among the top one hundred most influential people in the world in 2010, he took a picture wearing a brown recycling bag covering his head.
We may never learn his true identity, but his genius does not go unrecognized. Banksy paints our society, utilizing wit and metaphors, ultimately revealing previously unspoken aspects of the contemporary world in the form of social commentary. He crosses the barriers of pleasing visualizations, exclaiming his opinion through spray-paint creations, influencing the minds of society.
I admire his artworks because they depict hidden truths about the world. His art is topically on point and easily accessible to the audience. The streets are his gallery, open to the public at anytime. He proves that abstract social boundaries are irrelevant by painting where he can be noticed and portraying what others can't say, but see. His style tends to be bold and distinct for the audience to decipher. His vision is fresh, quirky, with a sense of dark humor, making it easy for him to attract and conquer the hearts of the public.
My favorite Banksy's artwork is Bomb Hugger, portraying a girl holding a bomb in her welcoming embrace. Perhaps his work shows how war, symbolized by the bomb, disregards the generation’s boundaries, attracting social violence which ultimately becomes acceptable. Banksy supposedly shows that war becomes prevalent, so people nod in agreement and even “embrace” the fact that there is constant war is the world. To me, this message proves that Banksy conveys his voice by choosing a simple and clear language, a juxtaposition between a child and an instrument of destruction: the bomb.