Banksy: street art, mystery, and trademark

Banksy: art de rue, mystère et marque de fabrique

Photo: Thomas Samson Agence France-Presse
A new work of urban art Banksy has recently made its appearance on a rear door at the Bataclan, in Paris.

His works scattered on the walls, from London to Gaza, are the delights of Instagram and fans of street art. While carrying a political message, the artist Banksy, who recently prevailed in Paris, fascinates by maintaining the mystery about his person and in having constructed his mythology.

“In fact, this is not very important that this is actually him or not, the thing is that the effect Banksy works “, observes the art historian Paul Ardenne, asked after the” apparition ” in Paris of several works, the most famous street artist, but also the most secret.

Banksy: art de rue, mystère et marque de fabrique

Photo: Philippe Lopez, Agence France-Presse
Like other urban artists, Banksy often proceed by “stages of invasion” by scattering several works in a same city.

The identity of Banksy is a mystery well kept since its inception in the 1990s. Of him, we know the nationality (british), the city of origin (Bristol, where he has created an amusement park of parody), page, Instagram and website, where he uploads his works, without any more comments.

On the other hand, nobody knows its true identity or has seen a photo of the artist, who gives interviews to the dropper. Persistent rumours claim that it would be part of the group Massive Attack, also a native of Bristol, but without that having been proven.

“It is the trademark of Banksy. Beyond the purview of marketing, it is also a way of saying : “Look ! With a touch of anonymity, as if by chance, you’re interested in more”, underlines Magda Danysz, a specialist in street art.

“There’s this fascination to drop a mask, but you would be very disappointed if we had his photo. In fact, we don’t want to know, it is like a good recipe ” with a mystery ingredient, slides, the gallery owner who works between Paris and Shanghai.

Nevertheless, when a work of Banksy appears on a wall, the news spread like wildfire on the social networks, turning the fans into treasure hunters, such as in New York in October 2013, where he has designed almost one work per day for a month.

Like other street artists, Banksy often proceed by “stages of invasion” by scattering several works in a same city, with special attention to the location and its symbolism.

The symbol at the Bataclan

In the French capital, it is on a back door at the Bataclan, target of a terrorist attack in November 2015, he has drawn a silhouette in the sad face. Door of the Chapel, where camped for months many migrants, he drew a little girl trying to cover a swastika with the pink paint. A work that has since been degraded.

Banksy: art de rue, mystère et marque de fabrique

Photo: Philippe Lopez, Agence France-Presse
A work of Banksy, the door of the Chapel, where encamped for months many migrants

“The genius of Banksy is that he intervenes stack at the time where we had the phenomenon of the [ship humanitarian] Aquarius, a policy issue is crucial to Europe. So, as always, at the right place at the right time. It is this which is crazy enough in his work, ” says Nicolas Laugero-Lasserre, art collector street, to the origin of the museum Art42, in the north of Paris.

A enthusiasm that does not share Paul Ardenne, denouncing a ” honeyed words “. “This kind of tag on the surge in extreme, the progression of the extreme right, radicalismes neo-nazis, they are everywhere, lance-t-il. You have all the cliches : the child, the purity, the major bad guys in white… “

Others remind us again that the style is easily recognizable is also what makes the paw of Banksy and allows you to distil its message to political purpose.

In respect of works in paris, ” he may be sent to assistants. There may be people who do the works in its place and it suits him ” like that, writes Magda Danysz, focusing on the artistic approach off the beaten track.

Share