- Arts and Design
Things You Didn't Know About Banksy
No one knows, his identity is a mystery. Some say Banksy is a man and some say Banksy is a group of multiple artists. It doesn’t really matter if we know Banksy’s sex or real name. What’s important is the messages and delight he has brought to the art world.
His cleverness brings a refreshing air to a world that --- unless you’re an art curator, most of us don’t get. Banksy offers the world a form of art that can be understood by pretty much anyone, it’s so direct that it's no surprise he’s had run-ins with the law.
If you’ve heard the name Banksy (which I’m sure you have) then you are aware of his creative graffiti’s on the streets, what you might not know are these reasons why you should love him even more.
He sold his art for a tiny fraction of its price in Central Park
He anonymously (as always) set up a pop-up stand on Central Park, New York. He camouflaged between other local artist and started selling original black and white prints of his work. Priced at $60 USD, an outrageously high price for the area and above all for a “no one” on the street.
Ironically stores nearby were selling his work imprinted on coffee mugs, post cards, posters and other souvenir shit for tourists.
Two lucky persons bought from the artist, one lucky man even bought two. What many would say was a high price for two canvases ($120 USD) turned out to be a great investment. Both canvases were set to reach £120,000 in an auction at Bonham’s in London.
Gareth Williams, head of contemporary art at Bonham's, said the Central Park stall was a coup. "The fact that his paintings were original and were being offered at a tiny fraction of their true retail value, raises real questions about the perception of worth and the nature of art as commodity within the marketplace – something that the artist must be acutely aware of."
Banksy Sneaked His Paintings in Famous Museums
Before becoming ultra famous and having his work "legally" displayed in art galleries, Banksy expose the world to his art in very creative ways. He would glue his paintings to the walls of the Tate British Art Museum. It remained unnoticed for hours before the glue dried and the painting fell.
He then repeated the same trick in the British Museum, hanging a fake cave painting showing a caveman pushing a shopping trolley, complete with a fake sign that read “This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the Post-Catatonic era.” This time the piece hung for at least two days before anyone noticed and took it down. A few years later, Banksy used the same trick in New York, sneaking works into the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Brooklyn Museum.
He Helps Charity In The Most Unimaginable Ways
The Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project, which is a charity for Bristol youth had the same problem most charities have, NO MONEY. They help support over 1000 youths every month.
What did Banksy do? He left them a graffiti on their door, called "Mobile Lovers." It was auctioned to a private collector for £400,000.
This kind donation secures the charity's doors to stay open for at least four more years. And they also shared the proceeds from the sale with other clubs that are part of the Young Bristol umbrella organisation of which BPRYP is a member.
I bet you would like a graffiti like this on your door.
His Art Actually Means Something
As you've noticed, Banksy's work is pretty direct but full of creativity. He deals with various political and social themes, including anti-war, anti-consumerism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, nihilism, and existentialism. Additionally, the components of the human condition that his works commonly critique are greed, poverty, hypocrisy, boredom, despair, absurdity, and alienation.
His Extraordinary "Amusement" Park
Dismaland! Come on!!! How could you rather go to fake Disneyland when you can go to the real thing Dismaland.
A theme park where the truth is exposed, no sugar-coating to your surrounding. It is an honest and raw version of what the world is. Different to that advertised by marketing and corporations that just want our money.
Dismaland tickets were sold for £3 and opened to the general public, not just those with deep pockets or big credit. Dismaland was such a success that their site crashed several times.
These are just a few reason why I think Banksy is awesome. I'm pretty sure you have many of your own, feel free to share.