Friday, September 19, 2008

A Masterpiece With a Message.

I think this has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve done for a class before in my life. It was a perfect balance of challenge as well as excitement. I was not entirely sure of what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted to do something interesting. What I ended up doing was going back to my familiar days of painting. The subject matter of my painting is simply a hand holding a paintbrush. I wanted to keep my message fairly straightforward and uncomplicated. “This is my media. This is how I get my message out.” In my own personal experience, I have always responded more to visual things. I do love to read, but if the topic does not interest me, I sometimes have a harder time finishing whatever it is I have to read. I think most people from my generation and those following ours can say the same thing. Everything in our society is visually stimulated, so our youth are bombarded with so many different advertisements, sales pitches and products, I think eventually we’ve become unsure of what to believe and how to tell the difference between what is reality and what is corporately branded.

In my own experience, I’ve always responded the most to art and photography. I do not think that the majority of people realize that certain art pieces have major political stories behind them. The art world has grown and artists are taking advantage of their canvases to portray their own opinions about everything- small or big- to whoever will stop and take a look. One of the best examples in my own opinion is a graffiti artist by the name of Banksy. Controversial and known through London and now increasingly around the world simply for his political art, takes to the streets to create stencils of political happenings today. One of my favourites is of a young girl with a heart-shaped balloon floating away on a cement staircase. On the right side behind the young girl, it says ‘THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.” There are plenty of others, some which portray groups of riot police with yellow smiley faces in place of their own with “WRONG WAR” written in between them, others of young children hugging bombs with a heart over their heads, conveniently titled a Banksy Love Bomb. There is one stencil, another that I particularly like, of a young man with a bandana over his face getting ready to throw a bouquet of flowers, titled Flower Chucker. There are hundreds more of his stencils around the streets of London, Brighton and Bournemouth as well as the US and Europe, some of which have been removed. Either way Banksy still manages to get his point across to people everyday. He is using the art of graffiti to state his political viewpoints with others around him.

Overall, I think that even if a person is not an artist, or has never taken an art class, or does not fully pay attention to what is happening in the news around us, one can still stop and appreciate what the artist is trying to do. In my own situation, what I hope to do is raise media awareness through my artwork, whether it is painting, photography, sculpture or film that is being used as a medium. Either way I am still left with my hand holding a paintbrush, a camera or even clay, and an empty canvas to create a masterpiece with a message.

“Banksy.” Art of the State. 2008. 16 September 2008

“Banksy.” Banksy. 16 September 2008

1 comment:

I. Reilly said...

i think this is one of banksy's most powerful images:

i'm wondering what you think of the commodification of banksy's much coveted work? does this transform the political meanings and implications of his work? if so, what does this mean in terms of the bigger picture?