Street artist Banksy, a modern master

Riley Schofner, Webmaster

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Banksy’s “Shop until you drop” is on display in London, England. This piece is still standing on a derelict building, and you can see it yourself. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Banksy, the infamous street artist, has both popularized and monetized illicit graffiti art across Europe and the United states. Banksy has illustrated throughout his work a defiant message towards the watchful eye of the government. His tone and voice in his work proves he is one of the most talented artists of the 21st century, using innovative methods and relevant themes in his pieces.   

Banksy uses stencils as the main way to spray paint art and exit the scene quickly. A stencil is a cardboard cutout of the art that is spray over, leaving the excess spray paint of the cardboard and the noncovered area living the shape of whatever stencil you want. 

Most of the pieces are representing classic governmental entities in unique ways, and generally installing a sense of anarchy or fighting. Examples include stencils of male police officers kissing, or members of a riot throwing a bushel of flowers, not a Molotov. At first, these pieces were quickly down, but now the art is revered and has sold for millions of dollars.  

As time progressed and Banksy became more and more mainstream, he branched out in creating larger scale projects, like Dismaland, a massive Disneyland park recreation filled with his art pieces. Banksy even owns a hotel and sells merch, all focusing on criticizing the consumer culture of the West. 

Banksy’s legacy as an artist and unconventional commentator on life will forever shrine him as a true artist. Creating both mainstream and underground pieces that convey intense themes revolving around what humans prioritize in place of true meaning, he even mocks himself for posh art critics frothing over his art. If there is anyone who knows meta like the back of his hand, it’s Banksy.