Monday, April 22, 2013

Banksy's Commentary on Society

   So, I have discussed Banksy in an earlier blog post because he is just too freaking amazing. Banksy is the most known “unknown” street artist, who can be characterized for his social satire and irony in his stencil and wheat-paste graffiti. He’s funny, he’s cool, and honestly who can’t love him? Well, not everyone; others feel differently about his work, or graffiti in general.  At its best, Graffiti is considered to be art, at its worst it is considered to be vandalism. Personally, I believe this modern art movement serves as visual artifacts critiquing societies’ values and beliefs.

   Banksy takes a huge hit on society’s love for meaningless material goods, the capitalist economy, and social problems. For example, he hates advertisers because they use their creativity to ruin the world. Advertisers are telling everyone what to love, what to buy, how to look, what to be, and pretty much how to live our lives, but in a very subtle way.  It taps into our self-conscious, how? Well we are exposed to around 500 advertisements every day, trapped in an ocean of brands, labels, ideologies that we are brainwashed to follow because "they" say that is the “norm”. They have so much power, and as consumers, we are vulnerable to buy into their scheme.
   "People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

   You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
   Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs."

   Banksy also comments on greed by the elite, consumerism by the majority, animal rights, social justice, and poverty. 

Banksy comments on animal rights an animal cruelty.  In 2008, Banksy opened his first “official” exhibition in New York. His exhibition included chicken nuggets being dipped in BBQ sauce, a fur coat made to appear to be a tiger, fish fingers swimming in a goldfish bowl; he is trying to make society question its relationship with humans and animals.

To learn more about Banksy’s and his art visit his website, which was not made by him, the documentary, Exit through the Gift Shop, which he directed with Mr. Brainwash, and the books about him.


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