Art can be a gift and a curse, and as creators we may choose who it benefits and who it burdens, but sometimes those lines may cross inadvertently. Banksy, who’s known for his political activism, has experienced this first hand. Each piece he creates invokes dialogue for change and his message is centered around specific political themes such as anti-war and anti-capitalism.
His perspective resonates with many across the world who view his art as their voice amongst the noise. However, he’s also unintentionally received praise from those whom his art is meant to disrupt. For example, Banksy’s anti-capitalistic art that directly defames the highly manipulated art market, amongst other things, ironically adds to his allure — as well as the price of his work at these high-end art auctions. Another aspect to Banksy that lends itself to his allure is his mystique.
Throughout the years there have been various sources who’ve stated that they’ve uncovered the identity of the mysterious London based street artist, but as of today the person responsible for the artwork still remains unknown. This also elevates the price of his art, however, Banksy’s anonymity isn’t intended for notoriety and financial gain. He would rather focus his viewer’s attention on what matters to him the most, the message.
Aside from Banksy’s art, he also subscribes to boots on the ground work to progress his message forward. He’s provided funding for various non-profit organizations that fight against homelessness, HIV/AIDS, arms trade, etc.; using the funds he’s received from the sale of his work.
Banksy represents more than just a voice for change; he personifies the complexity of intention and perception in a world that provides benefit and burden like two sides to the same coin. Banksy finds himself profiting from the exact thing he despises, however, maybe the message here isn’t to chastise the act of acquisition—but rather influence the responsibility that follows in hopes to progress society forward for the greater good.