Banksy in 2018 – Part 1

The Latest Works of The Popular Artist

Sometimes artists become synonymous with their craft, and sometimes vise versa. In the past surrealism was inseparable from Dali, abstract from Picasso, Pop Art from Warhol. In the last decade the art of Graffiti has become dominated by a single name too, the name – Banksy.

Beginning in the 90’s the UK street artist rose to fame at the beginning of the millennium as his work became more prolific and recognisable. His signature style is often a striking image of a character from pop culture in juxtaposition with an object or slogan, frequently delivering a social commentary encased in dark humour. His iconic stencils seem to pop up all over the world and his original artworks have fetched incredible amounts at auction.

Yet even though this anonymous and much loved giant of graffiti stands tall above the rest, it oftentimes seems the hype surrounding him has reached a plateau. This is not helped by the mechanics of how street art works. Musicians release their work to the world through several easy to reach mediums and declare it to everyone, even sharing the production with their fans. Graffiti artists on the other hand rarely have this luxury, having to get their work up and flee the scene as soon as possible. Especially when graffiti is classed as vandalism and therefore what they are doing is illegal. And if that isn’t even reason enough to escape, artists like Banksy who would like to keep their anonymity intact have their entire brand at stake should a passerby spot them tagging a wall. Because of this, the culture of street art does not provide the same level of showmanship and bragging rights that many others receive. In a world where lives are documented hourly by selfies, the choice to remain off the radar seems almost alien. And even though creators like Banksy are still making great original pieces regularly, they don’t often appear in the public eye without a level of controversy. Though thanks to his high acclaim, helped by his quality and no doubt the feature film about him – Banksy doesn’t need to win any popularity contests.

Today the man (Or collective) known as Banksy continues to move around the globe and communicate in paint. With the social issues of today whirring constantly in his mind, Banksy has unleashed a series of brand new works upon us. The last couple of years have had plenty of ups and downs worldwide, and you can count on guerilla artists like Banksy to highlight them loudly wherever he deems necessary.

Houston and Bowery, Manhattan – Banksy returned to the United States in early 2018, no doubt to shed some light on their recent ‘mistakes’. On a huge wall illuminated by lamps at night, he created a mural in protest of the unjust imprisonment of Turkish artist Zehra Dogan. She was sentenced to a total of 2 years, 9 months and 22 days for her watercolor painting based on a photograph. Banksy’s work shows a huge sequence of tally marks, with an image of Dogan peering out from behind some of the vertical bars. Above this is the painting she was incarcerated for.