Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Banksy - One Nation Under CCTV

Banksy is an infamous and anonymous British graffiti artist that creates graffiti art pieces on buildings around Britain that are usually charged with anti-war, anti-capitalist and/or anti-establishment messages. His graffiti art incorporates the use of stencils and features animals such as monkeys and rats, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly as his subjects. This artist has established himself as a pop cultural icon and he has a huge fan following. Although Banksy has an agent, his appearance and identity remain a mystery. I am fascinated by the mystique that Banksy has created around himself and I LOVE the intellectually stimulating aspects of all of his works - he simultaneously challenges his viewers to think and he automatically provokes a corresponding emotional response. Not only does Banksy produce fine art, but he takes it to the next level by addressing societal issues and instilling a social consciousness into his viewers.

His most recent work, Nation Under CCTV, is his largest piece to date and can be found on the side of a central London building. It is a commentary on the Orwellian notion of "Big Brother" - we are always being watched over by Big Brother. This is an extremely socially relevant topic to address in today's world, with our insatiable obsession with broadcasting ourselves and watching others' broadcasts/videos. With all good art, this piece is open to a variety of interpretations, but my interpretation of the piece reads as our social obsession with voyeurism has become more of a priority than enforcing the law. It totally makes me think about the sudden increase in Youtube videos of kids filming videos of other kids assaulting and, in some cases, killing other kids all for the purpose of having a video to upload and share - regardless of the fact that the victim may be dead or about to die! Banksy's piece definitely speaks on many levels and forces the viewer to think.

Yay to Banksy for being mysterious and making us think!!!



nancee said...

i saw a documentary about banksy a while ago. if only i can remember what it was called.... it documented the progression of his style and had interviews with his famous fans (including jaimie oliver!)you'd like it.

Coogi2G said...

nancee! I will have to look for that documentary - thanks for the tip!

SexiBoo said...

Oooh if you find it let me know, I would love to see that!!

Coogi2G said...

Hey sexiboo! I will look into this further and let you know :-)

Oferal Rever said...

We've long been inspired by urban art and have finally created a collection that pays homage to this secret addiction of ours!