By: Andrew Uyeno
We tend to love mysteries. Did aliens land in Roswell? Does the Bermuda Triangle really make ships disappear? Where did Amelia Earhart go? And also: who is Banksy? The graffiti artist from the UK had taken the world by storm ever since he entered the scene in the early ’90s. Once the world saw his first Teddy Bear throwing a Molotov cocktail, we all became hooked with the myth of Banksy. He went from being a criminal to one of the greatest artists of our time. His pieces now sell for well over $100,000, just like the trailer he painted in 1998 at Glastonbury. According to the Associated Press, a trailer on which he painted his famous “Silent Majority” sold for $848,516.
The thing we love the most about Banksy is the silent rebellion he brings. Most of us are afraid to break the rules even if it is to stand up for something. Yes, Banksy breaks the law, but his work tries to stand up for the voiceless. His art is all about society and how backwards it can be, such as his piece on Climate Change, where the words “I don’t Believe In Global Warming” are shown sinking in water.
The whole idea of a modern day Robin Hood is exciting. We all have this drive to be a hero, but our fears hold us back. But in Banksy we can identify with this feeling. That is why instead of calling the cops, Bridge Farm elementary school celebrated a new Bansky piece on their new building. After naming their new school building after the famous artist, Banksy decided to repay the favor.
He tagged an image of a child rolling a burning tire across a field. If a principal woke up to graffiti on his walls he would be pissed. But Banksy’s image has become that of a street warrior who fights for what is right by waking up society the way he knows how—with art. We are obsessed with masked heroes who stand up for us and silently protect us at night. Banksy might not be able to fly or fire lasers from his hands but he represents that little rebel in us all. In his own way, he is the voice that wants to shout at the society we live in.