Themes Of Banksy’s Work

Themes Of Banksy’s Work

Nihilism Towards Contemporary Views

Banksy Graffiti RatThe biggest theme that drew me into Banksy’s art was his view on society. The way he portrays how the expectations and values of the past do not perfectly align with those of with the present. People tend to reminisce back to the “golden days” while turning a blind eye to the present. Issues with growing gap between social class, the government that ignores the needs of its people, etc.

Banksy takes mundane common-place imagery and put a subtle twist to make his statement that more poignant. Such as the taking the phrase “Follow your Dreams” and placing a big red cancel sign in front of it. It takes a colloquial saying from the past and denies its validity. Whether you think we are boxed into living our lives following roads that are already predetermined for that class structure is so rigid it has been impossible to transcend the class you were born to the interpretation is left up to the viewer.

Banksy takes mundane common-place imagery and put a subtle twist to make his statement that more poignant. Such as the taking the phrase “Follow your Dreams” and placing a big red cancel sign in front of it. It takes a colloquial saying from the past and denies its validity. Whether you think we are boxed into living our lives following roads that are already predetermined for that class structure is so rigid it has been impossible to transcend the class you were born to the interpretation is left up to the viewer. Another example in his ‘What we do in Life‘.

Interpersonal Distance Growing Due to Technology

i want change banksyThe progression of technology has skyrocketed in this recent decade, the more avenues that have become available the less the people are interacting in person. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have collectively diluted the social skills of this generation.  People act based on the reaction based on “likes” and popularity they receive from social media networks from their peers.  Banksy messages are mostly linear and to put when it comes to technology, “Don’t lose touch with real life”.  He shows the hallowing of the human soul by depicting the apathy with other human beings.

mobile lovers banksy
In Banksy’s piece above have a couple embracing each other tightly while giving all their phones. The whole environment is drab and bleak except for their faces which are illuminated by their phones, showing the true importance of our tech.

Love is an accessory while our phones and social networks have taken a prominent role in our lives.

Interpersonal Distance Growing Due to Technology

banksy girl frisking cop police officerBanksy constantly uses pop-culture staple interacting with law enforcement officers usually shown with a submissive demeanour. He highlights the intrusion and heavy-handedness that the government uses to control and maintain society. Officers are usually searching a benign suspect, or placing them in compromising situation.

In one piece he even reversed the roles between an officer and a small civilian girl. The girl frisked the officer, showing the lack of privacy the law enforcement/military can subject civilians too.

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