7 Of The Most Hard Hitting Works Of Art By The Infamous Street Artist “Banksy”
The elusive street artist Banksy has been at it for a while now. Known both for his technique as well as his astute social commentary, the anonymous British graffiti artist is one of the world’s most prolific.
But despite his vast repertoire, there are some works that truly stand out from the rest, or are at the very least my personal favourites.
#1 Slave Labour, 2012
The mural depicts a child hunched over a sewing machine, making Union Jacks. It was a critique of the child labour irresponsibly used to make merchandise for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics that took place that year.
#2 Free Zehra Dogan, 2018
A Kurdish artist, Dogan, worked as an editor for an all-female news agency in Turkey. An award-winning journalist, she was arrested and sentenced to prison for depicting the destruction of the Turkish city Nusaybin.
Each tally mark on the mural represents a day in Dogan’s prison sentence.
#3 The Son Of A Migrant From Syria, 2015
Ever since a civil war broke out in 2011, Syrian migrants have been scattered across the globe, with different countries offering different degrees of protection to the people fleeing their nation.
The son of one such migrant was Steve Jobs, born to Syrian parents and later adopted. Steve Jobs is remembered as this larger than life figure, but Banksy’s work is a reminder that people from unlikely backgrounds can be huge contributors to a nation’s economy.
The mural’s location – the Calais jungle- is also important. It is an area where refugees often camp out while seeking asylum in the UK.
#4 Let Them Eat Crack, 2008
A take on a quote often associated with Marie Antionette, “Let Them Eat Crack” depicts the attitude that the people and corporations on Wall Street hold toward lower income classes in New York.
The rat in the image is all decked out but his coloured paw shows just how corrupt and unfair life in the city can be for the unlucky.
#5 Cardinal Sin, 2011
One of Banksy’s more famous forays into sculpture, the piece was donated by Banksy to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool to protest the sexual abuse rampant in the Catholic Church.
The bust is a replica of one made of a priest in the 18th Century, with the face sawed off. The mosaic pixelation is representative of the protection of the abuser’s identities. The statue was identified by the artist as a Christmas present, saying – “At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity – the lies, the corruption, the abuse.”
#6 Consumer Jesus, 2004
A spin on the traditional image of Jesus mounted on a crucifix, the image was made at a time when the UK’s economy was in peril, but that didn’t stop the citizens from spending huge amounts during the holiday season.
An image of Jesus’ outstretched arms clutching multiple shopping bags throws the holiday’s bottom line into sharp relief.
#7 No Trespassing, 2010
Incorporating pre-existing signage into street-art can be tricky. ‘No Trespassing’ makes a chilling comment on the state of Native Americans in their own country.
The piece was unveiled in San Francisco when the Sit/Lie ordinance was passed, prohibiting people from sitting down or lying down on the city sidewalks. The Native American sitting defiantly protecting his own space held both the city and America at large to account.
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