Banksy expresses his thoughts on crucial problems arising in society today through the creation of street art. He has moved from the use of graffiti stencils to painting on canvases and making sculptures. Many of Banksy’s works have appeared in areas varying from Vienna to San Francisco, Barcelona to Paris and Detroit (Ellsworth-Jones). Even though his artwork has tremendous amounts of exposure to the world today, the face of this famous activist is still an enigma. Despite the fact that many other street artists emerged into the art scene, Banksy was always one step above them. His incorporation of anti-consumerist messages into his masterpieces allowed him to be well-known throughout the art scene (Lynch). Whenever someone thinks of the United States, they visualize a place of “milk and honey”, where everything in a society flows together. But that isn’t the case.
One way Banksy strives to speak out against this problem is through the painting of an ordinary low-class worker.Banksy addresses his view on the life of many lower-class citizens and how they reshape America as a whole through the creation of his 2010 painting, Follow Your Dreams, located in the Chinatown district of Boston. The location of this particular artwork itself plays a huge role in understanding its meaning. The poverty-stricken area symbolizes how a vast majority of teens and adults can’t achieve or follow their dreams, due to the deficiency of important supplies and lack of money. Furthermore, the deep black conveys a dismal vibe and an absence of color. The words “Follow Your Dreams” are hand-painted very sloppy and in a dreary color, telling us that this was done my the man himself.
While, the “Cancelled” is displayed in a bright red neat format, almost depicting a stamp. Red symbolizes power and strength, emphasizing the idea that many obstacles block the path for young people to reach their goals, like the government or lack of education. Ultimately, Banksy is trying to indicate to his audience that there is a strong connection between poverty and opportunity. Those who are living in a low-income environment, don’t have the ability to seek their dreams.