We humans have been always captivated with the mysterious, the unknown. That natural drive that we have is what made us reach this level of society. We always tried to find out more, to dig up more. To this day, mysteries challenge us. Make us want to conquer them. And that is precisely one of the reasons why Banksy as an artist became so famous. To this day, there are more things that we do not know about the artist than we do. The anonymity, the mystery, and the talent combined with the provocative and political themes that his art touches is what makes Banksy art so well-known.
Banksy’s career started in the ’90s when he was a teenager and a part of the DryBreadZ Crew. His work was inspired by local artists in Bristol it became an undeniably big part of the Bristol underground scene. In this period, he was producing his graffiti freehand, and later in the 2000’s he switched to the stenciling technique in order to complete his work much faster. Banksy used motives such as anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-establishment that he based his art upon, and these pieces were often in combinations with slogans. His first known large mural was The Mild Mild West that Banksy painted over an ad of a former solicitors’ office. It was painted in 1999 for three days and it portrays a large teddy bear with throwing a Molotov cocktail over three riot police officers. It was inspired by an event at Winterstroke Road where a party was held, as one of the many unlicensed parties and raves that happened in abandoned places in that time, and riot police attacked the people at the party.
His most famous artworks
- Can’t beat the feelin’ (2004)— One of Banksy’s most disturbing artworks depicts a naked crying little girl holding hands with Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald. The figure of the girl is the subject of a very well known photograph from the 1972 Vietnam War. She was a victim of the napalm bombings and had to take her burning clothes off as napalm gave skin burns so severe doctors were unsure she would make it. Banksy put the girl next to famous children’s characters to point out the consumerism and greed that Americans have with which they ignore the foreign policies that make these events a reality.
- Love is in the air (Flower Thrower)(2003)— The artwork depicts a protestor painted in black and white, throwing a bouquet of colorful flowers. Banksy first drew this piece in 2003 in Jerusalem and he painted it the West Bank barrier wall that separates Israel from its occupied territories. The flowers are thought to depict the hope for peaceful resolution of conflicts.
- Balloon Girl (2002)—This might be Banksy’s most famous piece ever, recognized all over the world. It depicts a young girl standing in windy weather reaching for a red balloon that flies away. The first work was done on Waterloo Bridge, and since then is used severely both by Banksy and the rest of the world. Only the balloon is colored so the meaning might be a child losing her innocence, dreams, and If you look at it from a perspective where the girl is about to catch the balloon, it might mean the arrival of hope and love.
There are many, many other artworks that Banksy have a life to like Dismaland, Devolved Parliament, Eu-Flag in Dover, GCHQ Government Spies Telephone Box, Draw The Raised Bridge, Seasons Greetings and lots more. Whether you think that his graffiti work is illegal, or you’re all for it, you can’t deny the truth about his talent and the ability to depict political and global themes so well.