baleanoptera: (SW Padme concept dark)
[personal profile] baleanoptera
So yesterday it was all about Romanticism and savage nature - therefore I found it fitting to turn to post-modernism and a very clear urban setting.



I have a bit of a thing for Street Art, and a rather large crush on the images of the artist Banksy.

No one really knows who Banksy is, but it is possible that his name is Robert Banks, and that he was born near Bristol UK in 1974. But since Banksy himself and the people close to him are very silent about these things nobody knows for sure.


Guard


His street art, which combines graffiti with a distinctive stencilling technique, has appeared in London and in cities around the world.


The Jungel book


There are several things I like about Street Art. A main thing is it's pop-cultural references. Not only do I like the cheekyness of using Star Wars or Disney figures in images like these, but I also LOVE how the pop-cultural references makes the images that more accessible. In opposition to a lot of modern art you don't need vast amounts of art knowledge to get the point of the images. The symbols and references in the pictures are instead taken from everyday life and thereby extremely accessible. It's art with a point and a rather sharp satirical edge - and yet it never gives the viewer the feeling he/she is dumb and clueless.


I am your father!


Another thing I love is how the art is out on the streets and in public spaces. It is not tucked away in a gallery, only watched by a small group of specialists. Again this helps make the art more accessible.


Police Search, Glastonbury


Being out in the urban landscape also allows for rather interesting, and sometimes disturbing, interaction between urban life and the images. IMO this only heightens the effect of the images.


Maid sweeping


Working with stencils allows Banksy to replicate his images rather easily, and this again allows the images to appear on different location. Each location adding to the image...



...and expanding it. The multiplication process is also interesting since the idea of originality is central in the art world. None of Banksy's works can be said to be the original and thereby a whole classification apparatus becomes meaningless. Yet most people within the art world would be hard pressed to that claim Banksy's works are not art, and the result is a conclusion that art must be more than originality and single works of greatness.

True, Andy Warhol has challenged this notion before - but just because one person has made a good argument, doesn't mean the argument shouldn't be repeated.


Altered Paris Hilton Promotion Poster


I also have an evil and mean side, and therefore I love the fact that Banksy is often rude.


Queen Victoria


Um...I have no words for this really. Go Queen Vic?


Soldiers in the dark


And sometimes he is rude and extremely political. I like that as well.


Petrol head


And sometimes all of this is mixed with a surreal sense of humour - which I love.

Date: 2007-09-29 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-kit.livejournal.com
Oh, I love the maid and Queen Vic!

Tying in to the political thing, wasn't some of his art used in the Children of Men movie? I recall a piece of wall, graffiti'd in the above style, being guarded a soldier in the Battersea Power Station sequence.

Incidentally, there's a article on how they did the visual fx for that sequence and others here (http://www.fxguide.com/article390.html).

Date: 2007-10-02 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
I feel like I'm failing something here, because I have yet to see "Children of men". I've spent so much time this late summer and fall watching old movies that there simple hasn't been time for new films. But it is on my "to-watch" list.

And the Queen Vic one is marvellous. I really like the Maid too, but the best about that stencil is that he is quite prolific with using it - and so it appears in all manner of contexts. It's quite brilliant.

Date: 2007-09-29 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexandral.livejournal.com
HEEEE! I like the last one - this is me today!

Date: 2007-10-02 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
So glad you liked. I really love the surreal edge to his humour.

Date: 2007-09-29 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nutmeg3.livejournal.com
I had never even heard of this guy before. Why?! He's just wonderful! I love the soldiers painting the peace sign best.

Date: 2007-10-02 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
So glad you liked them. I love the soldiers painting as well. So simple and yet so poignant.

Date: 2007-09-30 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adraefan.livejournal.com
Aieeee. I LOVE Banksy!!

Date: 2007-10-02 10:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
hee! Banksy is love! It's as simple as that. I just love the whole concept of Street Art basically.

Date: 2007-09-30 12:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] finnygan.livejournal.com
I love Banksy, but I hadn't seen half of these pictures, so thank you for posting them. (Did you hear about that incident in Bristol where the council accidentally removed some of his art - as in, permanently removed - and then refused to even admit that they'd made a mistake. Whoops, huh?)

Date: 2007-10-02 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
No I hadn't heard that. Stupid council. Well, considering how Banksy is now becoming more and more mainstream they can pretty much start kicking themselves. To have a Banksy, especially a good one, is starting to become an attraction.

And great to hear you liked the pictures. I wanted to find something other than the staple rats and monkeys. While I love the little grafitti-rats I think his larger art is better.

Date: 2007-10-05 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-kit.livejournal.com
While I love the little grafitti-rats I think his larger art is better.

This giant ferret/rat (http://blogs.msdn.com/stevecla01/archive/2006/10/14/banksy-in-liverpool.aspx) in Liverpool, UK is very good. A bigger picture would be nice...

Date: 2007-10-05 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-kit.livejournal.com
A bigger picture would be nice...

Scroll down (http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2717). It's huge!

Date: 2007-10-08 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
Yay! Thank you for linking! I love how it the size of the rat in a way takes possession of the house. Hee.

Btw - in one of his books Banksy tells an anecdote about his use of rats. A friend had commented on how "it was SO clever - as rat clearly was an acronym for art."
Banksy said he was a bit taken back by this, as the thought hadn't crossed his mind - but he felt it would be stupid and a bit rude to say so. Instead he decided to play along, and said: "oh yes, yes - caught that did you?"

I just love what that says about the un-intentional and subconscious in the creation of art.

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