Where Does Banksy Hail From

The mysterious artist who took over the streets of Britain with his unconventional work, Banksy has always remained anonymous to the art world in terms of his identity. Little to nothing is known about Banksy’s life and background. However, what we do know is that Banksy was born in Bristol in 1974 and was the son of a photocopy engineer. The artist was formerly a member of a gang named the DryBreadZ Crew which is how he learned his signature art form: Graffiti and street art.

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

―Banksy
Amazon.com

“There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place.”

―Banksy
Britannica.com

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”

―Banksy
Medium.com

“Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it.”

―Banksy, Wall and Piece

Impact on the World

Banksy is considered to be one of the greatest artists of modern times with his work being powerful yet still simple enough for everyone to understand. By using the streets as his canvas, Banksy made contemporary art accessible to everyone. Through graffiti, Banksy addressed some of the most pressing social and political issues in the world, stirring up a lot of controversy surrounding his work. While many art critics believe that Banksy’s work is vandalism, others believe that his message is extremely important and influential enough to make his process acceptable.

Niv Singer
Hannes Richter

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”

―Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

Impact on Art

Banksy was one of the artists who completely redefined the meaning of art. While most artists of his time believed that the pinnacle of success was to have their work displayed in museums, Banksy legitimized street art and other alternative forms of artistic expression, creating a huge shift in the art world. His satirical paintings focused more on the message rather than the art and the fact that they still managed to sell for millions was enough to show the world that his work mattered. Banksy led the Street Art movement to become a huge economic benefit to the city, allowing artists to monetize their work while trying to dismantle the status quo.

Vogue.com

“A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.”

―Banksy, Wall and Piece

Impact on Fashion

Banksy’s works landed major wallops, pushing people to see the value of graffiti art. The effect of his work extended into the fashion industry where designers started incorporating street art elements into their pieces. From Moschino to Louis Vuitton, high-end fashion brands made use of the colorful and fun style of street art, creating luxury clothing, bags, and accessories with graffiti-style paint splatters and text stenciled on them. Because Banksy created art while simultaneously destroying it, fashion designers also used the same process to deconstruct their pieces to create and deliver political messages as a homage to the artist.

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Impact on Pop Culture

Pop Culture was a huge element of Banksy’s work. Through his process, he commented a lot on contemporary pop culture and consumerism. One of the most iconic moments in pop culture was when Banksy was given the freedom to design the opening credits for an episode of the Simpsons. The resulting product shows the show’s theme song playing in a factory where workers dressed in similar clothing are seen designing and replicating the characters of the show on pieces of paper with a child taking these images and hanging them up to dry. The factory is full of skeletons of dead workers as we see more children piling up the merchandise into carts. The entire sequence showing Asian workers laboring over Simpsons was considered to be a jab at Fox for outsourcing most of their animation from Korea without giving the workers any credits.

“The people who run our cities don’t understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit…the people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff…any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you, its yours to take, rearrange and re use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.”

―Banksy
Medium.com

Impact on Film

Banksy made his way into the film industry when his experimental documentary ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and was nominated for an Academy Award. Because people had never seen the artist before, the film was surrounded with even more mystery than usual and there was a huge debate on whether the film was real or if it was satire. The story revolved around a French immigrant named Thierry Guetta and his obsession with street art in LA. The film shows Guetta’s journey as he hides his identity and emerges as a prominent street artist — inspired by Banksy’s life. Despite the fact that Banksy’s identity was a secret and the film was never given a traditional theatrical release, ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ still managed to make it to the Academy Awards, which is a commentary on Banksy’s entire career as an artist.

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