Behind every work of art there is a message…or is there? In Banksy’s case, there is a politically-charged commentary on society. Here are the major causes that Banksy’s work addresses.
- War (or violence in general)
- Banksy is very clear when it comes to his opinion on violence. Much of his work serves as a contemporary commentary on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. In 2005, the bold artist decorated the Palestinian side of the West Bank Barrier with sardonic images of the other side. Banksy recently returned to the area. His latest work can be found in Gaza. If you haven’t already, check out his stark “Welcome to Gaza” video. Ready to hop on a plane over?
2) Social Media
- In addition to supporting other stencil street artists and sharing their opinions on the impact of social media, Banksy also provides his own views on how technology is changing society and interpersonal relationships. This piece below made us think twice about checking Facebook every five minutes. What about you? How does that impulse to check your smartphone feel now?
3) The Environment
- In 2009, after the Copenhagen climate conferences, Banksy produced a series of murals, one of which can be found on a wall by a canal in London with the words “I DON’T BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING” disappearing into the water. After the BP oil spill of 2010, Banksy also installed a coin-operated children’s ride with a dolphin jumping over an oil spill. How’s that for an environmental statement?
What do you think of Banksy’s work? Do you think calling attention to these issues is enough or will actually change anything?
One thing is certain: it sparks a discussion. Let’s keep that conversation going! Let us know what you think.
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I think that Bansky is going a great job of bringing these issues to the public attention but in order for something to change more people need to be shown this. If more people were like him there could be less issues in the world today. With more people standing behind him and others like him something could actually change in our lifetime.
Thanks for the comment, Hannah! I agree with you, his work definitely creates awareness, but you brought up an interesting point! I personally knew of him for a while, but was surprised by how many people I’ve talked to didn’t! Maybe if more people did in fact see his work, it would garner enough responses that might lead to some action and change!
Drawing attention to the issues is certainly a great place to start. In a society where we’re literally brought up consuming, it’s very easy to be blinded to the consequences of our actions.
I don’t think Banksy ever expects to change the opinions of the suits, but instead he speaks to the millennials who are at the end of the decisions, consuming their products. Be it around the issues of conflict free production of the products we buy or a mass overconsumption of social media, I think it’s great that Banksy is challenging the lifestyles we’ve adapted. He makes us think about what’s important in our lives and what we give value to-something i think our generation don’t spend enough time thinking about, with so many of us as Banksy illustrated in his pieces in gaza, just spending our time looking up videos of cats…
Well said, Mary. Thanks for your comment! I agree, Banksy does well in reaching out to our generation in particular. His work is a call to action for to us to choose to spend more time thinking about the bigger picture than looking up cat videos.