The story of street artist Banksy has always been quite a hazy one to say the least. Nobody really knows who he is, his art is displayed illegally all over the world and his legacy has laid in the minds of most of young to middle age people since the 90’s. In many eyes he is seen as more of an inspiration than a criminal because of the meanings behind his art. His art usual points towards the political matter and war aspects of the modern world. The image below stenciled by Banksy symbolizes the outrageous hunt for fossil fuels and the greed we as humans have, that is slowly but surely destroying our planet:
Image taken by Mark Bull.
Now onto where this becomes relative to my theories and ideas based on my interactive piece. Looking at the infamous piece of art by Banksy ‘One Nation Under CCTV’, I began to get a clearer understanding of why his art became so iconic in the first place. His art leaves people questioning their own identity with just a simple piece of imagery as they walk by. My interactive media piece involves the same kind of theory, as it allows people to walk by and have a glimpse at what the piece is about or what it means to them. I can also link my interactive piece to the fact that once you placed on a computer or online, you can have your identity stripped from you. The image below is the ‘One Nation Under CCTV’ piece by Banksy.
In an article, Banksy stated “You don’t have to go to college, drag ’round a portfolio, mail off transparencies to snooty galleries or sleep with someone powerful, all you need now is a few ideas and a broadband connection”. This basically means that in the eyes of the artist himself, anyone can become an artist or get somewhere quite fast with the power of the internet. With this statement in mind, I began thinking about some of the online works and individuals I’d seen over the years. People like PewDiePie, a Youtuber who became one of the highest earners on the site, topping 33 million subscribers. Some famous Youtubers just blog their entire lives, from the moment they wake to when they go to sleep, yet they still gain a very strong and positive perception in the public eye. It makes me ask the question as to how much it actually takes to become ‘someone’ in the real world, or whether the differentiation between reality and virtual reality cannot be distinguished.
In conclusion to this information, I can safely say that Banksy’s work is heavily based on the publics identity, and is placed mainly to make people question what they see as perhaps normal or what they are made to believe is normal behavior. His perception in the public eye is very ironic, seeing as he has never been given an identity himself. Maybe this is his idea of another form of his unique fashioned artwork, nobody knows.
Baudrillard, J (2014). The Spirit of Terrorism. Paris: Verso Books. p30-70.