Though an elusive figure, Banksy still stands at the forefront of topical debate – passionately voicing his (or her) opinions about society’s foibles with a certain comical undertone. His unfiltered stance towards injustice and political pomposity has elevated him into something of a reluctant political figure. Though not in the conventional sense.
Banksy is widely regarded as a highly influential figure, featuring in both Time and Complex’s respective “Most influential lists.” It’s evidently clear that Banksy has become a firm feature of today’s culture, sowing the seeds of intellectual conversation and collective reflection. Single-handedly, Banksy has managed to redefine artistic perceptions and shift archaic attitudes towards not only his craft but art in general. For millions of people Banksy’s work served as an inroad into the art world, sparking untapped curiosities and appreciation.
Many people predict Banksy will eventually climb to the startling heights of Andy Warhol. Like Warhol, Banksy has managed to totally revolutionise an entire movement. Not too long ago street art was perceived solely as an act of tasteless vandalism. This notion was heavily perpetuated by the media who bombarded us we stories that both demonised and ostracised legitimate graffiti artists. This biased and distorted trend would’ve no doubt continued if it hadn’t been for Banksy. His defiantly tenacious resolve culminated in Graffiti art being elevate from the realms of obscurity to the precipice of galleries all around the world. A number of Banksy’s pieces have sold for well over £500,000 leading many to think of the ‘subversive soldier’ as a bit of a sell-out. But is this actually true? Banksy albeit a hidden figure, has no qualms mocking the myriad of art dealers who flock in their droves to buy his pieces. “I love the way capitalism finds a place—even for its enemies. It’s definitely boom time in the discontent industry.” Banksy taking a firm jab at the establishment that once loathed him, but unequivocally loves him now. It’s this acidic splutter of realism that makes Banksy so interesting. The vast majority of Banksy’s artistic pieces are cultivated and left in the public domain for everyone to enjoy; so to naively suggest that his or her actions are purely driven by money is both laughable and ignorant.
Banksy political prowess isn’t just confined to the western world. Israel a nation plagued by war, injustice and corruption served as fitting canvas for brand Banksy. The 425 mile long West Bank Barrier that separates Israeli territories from Palestine’s was given a much needed Banksy makeover.
A truly daring feat that only heightens the artist’s ubiquitous presence.
Banksy’s is most definitely a hero in the eyes of many activists, the fact that he (or she) isn’t a visible figure doesn’t belittle the crusade in anyway shape or form. If anything; it enables Banksy to go about unperturbed by celebrity culture, dogma and propaganda.
When the Banksy does eventually put down his spray cans, it will be (one hopes) when his mission is well and truly complete.