Graffiti Inspired by Bansky
Bansky is an artist whose background is not widely known. His name and location of birth are unknown, and he is referred only by his pseudonym-Bansky. He is based in the United Kingdom, and he specializes in graffiti. Bansky is also a prominent film director, painter and political activist in England. Most of his work is satirical, and it encompasses dark humor and graffiti in a specific technique special only to him. His works are commonly featured on the streets, bridges and walls of various cities all over the world. Since so little is known about him, he is assumed a citizen of England because this is where his first works were reported. Bansky was born and raised in England in the year 1974, specifically Bristol. His father is rumored to be a photocopier technician. Professionally, he trained as a butcher but art caught his eye in the late 1980’s during the era called the aerosol boom of Bristol.
Bansky’s career began in the early 1990’s, and he worked as a freehand graffiti artist. His main source of inspiration was the other local artists around his area of residence. His style comprises of the use of stencils even in his freehand pieces as a particular style that has been used to tell his art apart from forgers. His style has been compared to other famous artists like Blek le Rat and Jef Aerosol. However, as his skills improved, he embraced the use of stencils only since it takes a much shorter time to complete the piece, as opposed to the incorporation of freehand. He claims he resorted to the use of stencils since the authorities were after him and the use of freehand took too much time to complete his art. By the use of this new technique, his work became even more popular and widespread especially in London and Bristol, his hometown (Manco, 78).
Bansky’s art sometimes has slogans merged with some slogans. The message he mostly spreads through his art is anti war and capitalist tendencies. As several other graffiti artists do, his main medium of art is public surfaces like walls and streets for instance. The subjects for his art pieces are varied since he does not stick to only one particular subject matter. Bansky is popular for his disdain against the classification of graffiti as vandalism. He believes that graffiti as much art as that displayed in various elegant showrooms and art exhibitions. The use of the public surfaces as the medium may prove to be a difficult endeavor for several artists, but through his work, he has shown his mastery and skill in graffiti.
II. Analysis of the Artwork
This piece of art is referred to as the ‘maid in London’. It is easily one of the most remarkable works of art made by Bansky. The painting was made in Hoxton Square on one side of Joplin’s White Cube Gallery’s walls in the city of London. The painting is assumed to have been completed in May 2006, but the date is not precisely known (Bull and Bansky, 35). The painting depicts woman dressed as a maid who seems to be sweeping some material under a piece of cloth hanging nearby. In this particular painting, Bansky has used a human being as his subject matter; in particular, he has used a woman in the attire used by house cleaners. The medium used in this piece of art is the wall of a gallery in London’s Hoxton Square (Bansky, 57).
As with several of his previous works, this painting is an oil painting, and he has employed the use of stencils in the painting. This particular work is not abstract, as it has openly displayed what the artist intended to convey to the audience. The painting does not boast of a rich color combination, as it is a simple black and white painting. However, the artist in question has utilized the use of different shades of the same color in order to bring about a certain effect he intended to bring about.
The ‘maid in London’ by Bansky
Size of painting, 6.5 by 4
Painting completed in May 2006
In the case of the dimensions of the painting of the ‘maid in London’, they are expertly aligned, and they are equivalent where they are required. This is evidenced by the clear borderlines in the painting and the general outlook achieved by the painting in its completed state. This work of art has utilized the use of lines to evoke the required response to the painting. Bansky has made use of lines especially in the illustration of the piece of white clothing that the subject matter is lifting in the painting. In addition to this, Bansky has exploited the use of shapes in this piece of art. The incorporation of shapes in the painting is flawless, as it has blended seamlessly with the rest of the painting. Generally, the painting evokes a feeling of intrigue and mystery especially because no slogans are attached to the painting (Calvin, 528). If a particular slogan were included, the audience would have an idea of what the artist intended to highlight through his art.
However, in this case, the work of art having no slogan is prone to individual interpretation by the members of the audience. The content of this particular has been subject to a lot of controversy since several different people have tried to interpret the message the artist anticipated to pass. Conversely, the most accepted interpretation is that the painting is a reflection of the political system in the country. The political system they are referring to in this case is fond of using manipulation and lies in order to establish their authority. The subject matter in the painting represents the politicians in the country.
Actions of the subject matter depict the actions of the leaders who often disregard the law for their own benefits. The ‘maid’ who is shoving dirt presumably under the cloth proves this. In this case, the cloth is the tenure of the leaders and politicians in question. The concealed implication in this painting is that, after the tenure of the leaders, their actions will become recognized, whether good or bad. That is, the white cloth will fall off exposing all the ‘dirt’ they have hidden beneath it during their years of service. As a graffiti artist, Bansky by the use of this piece of art has influenced the citizens’ way of thinking especially in the case of politics.
Several factors affect the historical and cultural context of the artwork of the artist. Such factors include content, choice of media and form of the artwork. First, the choice of media the artist uses to display his work is important because it identifies him or her with a particular group of people. For example, the use of public places a media depicts the artist as a graffiti artist most of who seek to spread some messages around. The form of the art used is also fundamental to understanding the artist. For instance, the use of slogans in an artists work has a much greater effect than just making the individual painting. Finally, another critical component is the content of the painting (Miklavcic, 445).
The message the painting highlights identifies the beliefs of the artist who created it. This enables the audience to bet to know the artist better through his works of art. I was drawn to this particular artist because of his expertise and boldness. His paintings and slogans are honest, and they embody the ideologies and beliefs of the artist who created them. His prowess is also remarkable since his paintings are exquisitely done. Finally, Bansky has used public amenities as his medium boldly without being caught. Bansky is a very significant asset to the members of the arts community especially those who favor graffiti.