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Banksy artwork

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Who is Banksy?

I've always enjoyed his artwork. Banksy truly makes us smile. He makes us think, too. His work enlivens ugly areas. He makes a social comment. And yet there aren't many of us who know exactly who he is. We know the pseudonym. But we know little about the man behind it.

Indeed, is the work that we see actually the work of one person? Is some the work of copyists? How would we know?

But the real question is, why would we want what is generally known as street art in our homes? And we do - his posters and other items are best sellers. And I believe it's for the reasons mentioned above - they make us smile.

Art in any form is subjective and there are many, many clichés that we all know. Banksy brings his artwork (literally) to 'the man in the street'. It's ours.

Images copyright free from Wikimedia Commons.

Part artist, part vandal, part fairy godmother?

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There's a huge number of people who love his work. There are others who see graffiti as vandalism. (Despite the fact that his work is invariably painted on unsightly walls or buildings.)

But fairy godmother? Banksy's work, which is sometimes damaged or defaced, can be worth a great deal. In London, CCTV cameras caught two men installing an artwork on a wall outside the premises on a youth project in inner-city Bristol. (The artist is reputedly a native of that city.)

Unlike most of his work, this wasn't stencilled directly onto the wall but was on board. The youth project, which badly needs funds, took possession and have it on display (viewers are encouraged to make a donation but there is no entry fee.)

Considering that Banksy's artwork sells for enormous amounts of money was this his way of helping the youth project? Their director believes so. He says that a close friend of the artist let him know that is how it was intended.

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Many of Banksy's works have been destroyed. In some cases this was deliberate and in others, accidental. His paintings have also been removed from their original locations and sold for huge sums. Some - which is a weird sort of irony - have been vandalised.

Another irony is that the 'art establishment' sells his work for enormous sums. This also brings up another question that is rife in the art world - that of restoration.

Where does the law stand?

What's interesting is that 'the establishment' can't seem to decide on its own attitude. Some Banksy works have been destroyed by the authorities on the grounds that they were graffiti and therefore vandalism - and therefore graffiti.

On the other hand, the two men who defaced Kissing Coppers (above) were themselves captured on CCTV film and were prosecuted for virtually obliterating the work.

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This is located in New Orleans. Prior to 2005 most people, when New Orleans was mentioned, would think of jazz, Mardi Gras, the French Quarter or the Café du Monde. Katrina changed all that and also damaged this building. Fitting then, that Banksy made the 'comment' you see above.

His works are now available on a huge variety of objects - from doormats to jewellery.

Typically British

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Most people have strong views about graffiti one way or another. What's yours?

© 2014 Jackie Jackson

Comments

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 12, 2014:

@Brite-Ideas - thanks so much.I love the clean look.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 12, 2014:

@Adventuretravels - I can imagine the mayhem!

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on September 11, 2014:

this page looks even better over here on Hubpages Jackie

Laura Brown from Ontario, Canada on September 11, 2014:

Never quite sure about graffiti versus art. I know a lot of businesses who spend a lot of time and money cleaning up one and don't consider it the other.

Giovanna from UK on September 11, 2014:

I love Banksy's work. Last year he put his original work on sale on a market stall in London. I think the guy selling it had a fixed price of £70 per print. He was allowed to sell them at that price for 1 hour -interesting at first people just walked by, but then it all hell broke lose! One woman bought 2 for her kid's wall! Wish I had been there. Nice lens.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 11, 2014:

Thanks @craftypicks :)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on September 10, 2014:

@Merrci - I just love public art.

GrammieOlivia on September 10, 2014:

This is much nicer than some of the things that get painted on walls. At least this has character. I liked this hub!

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on September 10, 2014:

I like the idea of people being asked to paint a wall. Not so crazy about all the gang graffiti.

Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on September 10, 2014:

I never heard of Bansky before reading this. Thanks for the introduction, I really enjoyed this article and his artwork.

Lori Green from Las Vegas on September 10, 2014:

Looking Good Jackie

James Jordan from Burbank, CA on June 17, 2014:

So cool!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on June 07, 2014:

@Colin323: Me too, Colin. There are people in underprivileged areas whose only way to express their art is to paint on walls. Yes, they'd love to be at art college. Yes,they'd love to be painting on canvas. But they don't have a hope in hell. Mindless graffiti is horrible but there are a lot of artists - and I use the word advisedly - who can only use public places to display their art.Picasso would have done it,if needs be.

Colin323 on June 07, 2014:

I don't agree with Dave Stone (below). Banksy's art is witty and satirical - and he can draw, so we can admire an obvious talent at graphic design. Much of the graffiti you see is crude and untalented. It bashes you in the eye and does nothing for the viewer's brain cells nor the environment. But if these embryonic graffiti 'artists' want to perfect their talents, I'm in favour of giving them grants to attend art college, if they can't afford to pay the fees.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on June 02, 2014:

@Ibidii: That's great - thank you!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on June 02, 2014:

@David Stone1: Thanks so much, Dave!

Ibidii on June 01, 2014:

Very intriguing! My daughter will want the panda of course, I sent her the link!

David Stone from New York City on June 01, 2014:

Art is whatever the artist says it is. Sometimes, it connects. Sometimes, it doesn't. That's the nature of it.You did a great job with this, Jackie.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on June 01, 2014:

@esmonaco: Thank you so much!

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on June 01, 2014:

@captainj88: Such a great comment - thank you.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on June 01, 2014:

@AcornOakForest: That's a very good point. Anything that makes an ugly wall more interesting is fine by me :)

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on June 01, 2014:

I believe graffiti is okay as long as it's in good taste!!! I've never heard of this guy but I like his work. Thanks for yet another great story!!

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on June 01, 2014:

I'd rather see art than a blank wall. I'd rather see someone making a statement with art than with a weapon or a political campaign. I like this guy.

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on May 31, 2014:

There's definitely some ugly graffiti out there, but I would love to see more artists paid to paint on walls, because - as it turns out - there are a lot of ugly walls out there too. Banksy's great with me! And thanks... I saw a couple here that I hadn't seen before.